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Ukrainians against Russians: geopolitical sympathies of Ukrainian Internet users

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2014/08/27 • Politics

Novaya Ukrayina media communication center, together with internet publication Telekritika, analyses the tendencies of how the sympathies of Internet users are distributed throughout the oblasts of Ukraine. The analysts divided pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian users based on the Internet memes they shared on the social network VK.com. As such, pro-Ukrainian users call their opponents the derogatory meme “vata” (vata = cotton = from the cotton wool coats manufactured in Russia) and its derivatives, and pro-Russian ones use the monikers “ukrs” and “ukrops.”

The data was later converted into an info graphic by the analysts, wherein blue marks the number of pro-Ukrainian Internet users in an oblast, the so-called “ukrs.” Orange marks the number of pro-Russian users, the so-called “vatniks.”

In all oblasts except for Donetsk and Luhansk, pro-Ukrainian Internet users prevail. In particular, “ukrs” prevail in Western Ukraine. Odesa, Zaporizhya, Kharkiv, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolayiv and Kyiv oblasts show a notable number of “vata,” which, however, does not reach 50%. Donbas is clearly distinguishable from the rest, where active combat is currently underway and the number of “vata” surpasses the number of “ukrs.”

The researchers chose VK.com because it allows to document the geographical location of the user’s accounts, in retrospective as well. The research does not present data on Crimea, as the analysts were unable to access statistically reliable data from this region. The monitoring analyzed the most active and numerous communities on VK.com, which have strict pro-Ukrainian or pro-Russian positioning. In particular, “Euromaidan SOS,” “Wings Phoenix,” “Army SOS,” “Euromaidan Maidan ATO” and their opponents: “Novorossiya,” “Southeast Novorossiya,” “Republic Novorossiya Antimaidan,” “DNR” etc.

The analysts calculated the user accounts which were part of a community of this or that positioning as of July 7, 2014, and then divided them by oblasts using geographical location into numerical and percentage rations. 12,5 million Ukrainian Internet accounts were analyzed in the research.

Source: AIN
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina

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  • http://euromaidanpress.com Mat

    is this on volume or per user? more ethnic russians in donbas, conflict makes those regions more likely to use pejoratives in general and in greater volume, and a higher number of vk users per capita (likely)

  • Svarun

    This image might be skewed; I noticed that:

    1) Many pro-Ukrainian IUs call themselves “ukrov” (dill) for fun, in terms “dill is natural remedy against colorados” ;)

    2) Recently, more common monikers for the pro-Russians are “colorados” and “terrors”

    2) Internet is literally flooded by pro-Russian cyber activist – what is clearly a part of Putin’s dirty, hybrid war

    Inside Putin’s Campaign Of Social Media Trolling And Faked Ukrainian Crimes
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2014/05/11/inside-putins-campaign-of-social-media-trolling-and-faked-ukrainian-crimes/

    The readers’ editor on… pro-Russia trolling below the line on Ukraine stories
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/04/pro-russia-trolls-ukraine-guardian-online

    etc. etc.

  • Harald Forkbeard

    Check this out – Ukrops and vatniki are so intermarried, they are the same people.

    No difference between them. Ukrainian language and South Russian are close enough.

    Western Ukrainians are Rusyns who used to serve the Austrians and Hungarians are ‘holopi’, or indentured servants. They wear the biggest chip on the shoulder to this day. Must be all the abuse they took from their former masters.

    Usually, Ukrops who emigrate to Russia become Russians; while Ukrops who emigrate to Canada are known as ukro-canucks.

    Russians who live in Ukraine drink horilka instead of vodka. The swear words are pretty much the same regardless.

  • Dean Venture

    It would have been nice to have an earlier pre-conflict survey to compare. I have a feeling that many more Ukrops would have preferentially fled the conflict over vatniks. Perhaps the Donbas wasn’t quite so orange in February, 2014.