Putin’s sweet dreams and bitter realities: geographical distribution of Euromaidan’s proponents and opponents


Yuriy Dzhygyr


This map shows the absolute numbers of social network (Vkontakte) subscribers to Euromaidan-supporting and opposing pages in every municipality. The red color is assigned to communities where Euromaidan supporters are exceeding the opponents; the blue, to the opposite case. You can find the original interactive map here: http://statistika.in.ua/vk/pislyamaidan

All the obvious disclaimers must be applied: this is not a formal survey, and it is likely that the sample is not representative. But even this allegedly unrepresentative data leads us to two interesting observations.

The notion of a uniform and consolidated pro-Russian ‘Southeast Ukraine,’ which is actively exploited by Russian diplomats, is rather far-fetched. We actually may see two geographically separated clusters with strong opposition to the Euromaidan movement, perfectly coinciding with current areas of separatist unrest. These clusters are Crimea and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. So, the ‘Southeast’ is better referred to as the deep South and, separately, the deep East. Hence, Putin’s favorite thesis of a civilization clash between Ukraine’s two major parts is wishful thinking rather than reality.

It is also interesting to compare the share of ‘minorities’ in the dark red and dark blue regions. Indeed, both regions have very dark communities where the share of respective ‘minorities’ is less than 5%. Let’s, however, consider relatively big municipalities. Almost all the bigger municipalities in dark red region have a ‘minority’ share within 1-3%. The only significant exemption is Kyiv, which has about 7% Euromaidan detractors. The two dark blue regions are much less unanimous. The share of Euromaidan supporters in the majority of bigger municipalities in the two dark blue regions varies between 20% and 30%. The only significant exemption is Sevastopol, which has about 15% Euromaidan supporters. Therefore, even the most antagonistic regions color-wise, dark red vs. dark blue, are not perfectly comparable. The share of, very simply speaking, ‘pro-Ukrainian minority’ in two dark blue regions is significantly bigger than the ‘pro-Russian minority’ in the dark red region.

Thus, the widespread and actively exploited thesis of two Ukraines, where one is pro-Western and the other is pro-Russian, and conflict between them is unavoidable, is likely to be an exaggeration. This map rather proves and shows a widespread, especially in the modern world, significant peculiarity of two regions which could be and should be recognized and respected via granted rights for regional language, cross-border cultural cooperation, etc. I do believe we will manage to do this.

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