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Russia and the Battle for Ukraine’s Hearts and Minds

Russian President Vladimir Putin has become enemy number one in Ukraine. The longer the conflict in eastern Ukraine drags on, the further the Ukrainian public is likely to psychologically drift away from Russia. (Photo: European Union)

Russia may have the upper hand in the war in eastern Ukraine, but it is losing the battle for the hearts and minds of the Ukrainian nation. As a result, the more Russian leader Vladimir Putin tries to pull strings, the more he weakens the cultural and historical ties that have long bound Russia and Ukraine.
 
Ukraine has experienced a fundamental shift in public opinion since the EuroMaidan uprising in late 2013 – early 2014. And the transformation has been startlingly fast. The cultural and linguistic connections between the two Slavic peoples were such that pretty much no one in Ukraine could have predicted two years ago that their country would be in a fight today against Russia.
 

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Eugene Chausovsky is a Eurasia Analyst at Stratfor [www.stratfor.com].

Russia and the Battle for Ukraine’s Hearts and Minds

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