Six in ten Romanians are still following the developments in Ukraine six months into the war in the neighbouring country, according to the findings of a survey conducted by the Romanian Institute for Evaluation and Strategy (IRES) published on Wednesday.
According to the survey, the percentage decreased from the beginning of the war by almost 20% from March and by 12% from February.
More than a quarter of Romanians (28%) who follow the events in Ukraine get informed several times a day, 33% at most once a day, 24% 2-3 times a week, and 12% once a week.
Television remains the main source of information, with Romanian channels, including their online versions, being mentioned by more than 80% of those who want to get informed about the events in Ukraine, while 10% mentioned foreign television channels.
Online social media are the main source of information on this subject for 27% of the respondents.
According to the survey, beyond the mass media, Romanians have internalised the war in Ukraine, which has become part of their everyday life, which is reflected by the fact that one in five Romanians (21%) learn about the war in Ukraine from discussions with friends, and 18% from discussions with family.
One in four Romanians says that they no longer follow the war in Ukraine.
Fear is the emotion most strongly associated by Romanians with the war in Ukraine, with almost one in three Romanians (30%) saying that this is the feeling they feel most strongly about the armed conflict in Ukraine.
Worry and anxiety (13%), as well as sadness (8%), compassion, mercy or solidarity (14%) are also strongly felt.
According to the survey, the concrete consequences of the war in Ukraine, whether it is about economic and political consequences, as well as the deaths caused, top associated concerns, while the lack of security in the world, the length of the conflict and the outbreak of a nuclear war are secondary factors that induce the feeling of fear.
As against the beginning of the war, the fear that this conflict will spill over into Romania decreased slightly.
While in February 70% of the participants in the IRES survey said that they are afraid that Romania is in danger of being invaded, in August, 61% still shared this fear. Among them, almost a quarter (23%) believe that the invasion will happen, the survey reveals.
Almost half of the survey participants (47%) believe that it is very likely and quite likely that the war in Ukraine will trigger a regional conflict, 41% believe in the possibility of its turning into a world war with conventional weapons, and one in three respondents ( 33%) is of the opinion that it could trigger a nuclear war.
Romanians’ confidence in NATO’s ability to face an attack by Russia against the member countries in our region remains high, with three quarters (75%) of the respondents expressing their confidence in the NATO. One in five Romanians, however, believes the opposite.
Six months into the war in Ukraine, almost half of the Romanians (47%) believe that the war will continue into 2023, while 17% are of the opinion that it will last at least five years. More optimistic are over a quarter of respondents (29%), who still believe that the war will end by the end of 2022.
While 65% of Romanians believe that Russia’s invasion cannot be justified, 31% believe the opposite.
Regarding the “fight against Nazism” argument invoked by Russia to justify its February 24 invasion, seven in ten Romanians say that it is totally unjustified, while one in ten Romanians think that the argument is justified, and 14% say that it is to some extent justified.
The survey, which is part of the internal research programme of IRES, was carried out August 17- 23, on a sample of 1,155 people aged 18 and over, being representative of the adult, non-institutionalised population in Romania. It carries a maximum error margin of plus/minus 2.9%.