What Do the Polish People Think about their Eastern Neighbours?: Russians and Ukrainians in the Eyes of Polish university students
The focus of the present research is to examine what Polish university students associate with their Eastern neighbours - Russians and Ukrainians. The predominantly negative historical experience of Poland with those two nations, especially with the Russians, constitutes the background for a rather negative attitude towards both of them. However, the recent political changes in the Eastern European region, especially the revolution in Ukraine starting in 2013 and subsequently the Russian-Ukrainian crisis have the potential to change the light in which Poles are viewing their neighbours. Previous research has already suggested that after the aforementioned events the general attitude of Polish people towards the Ukrainians has become more positive, while towards Russians it is increasingly negative. In order to analyse the contemporary image of Russians and Ukrainians, a survey with 150 Polish university students was conducted. The results of the research show that both nations are predominantly associated with the current socio-political situation rather than with history, culture, language, tradition or other topics. While Russia and Russians are mostly associated with the current political situation and key persons, the Ukraine is linked to the socio-political changes in the state taking place during the research.(original abstract)
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