Ukrainians against Russians: geopolitical sympathies of Ukrainian Internet users

 

International

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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