European Union public opinion is shifting as “the toughest days may lie ahead”. Writes Drago Bosnic
For nearly four months, we have been listening about “European unity” in the wake of “Russia’s unprovoked brutal invasion” and similar forced statements of no value in any shape or form. However, as the war in Ukraine drags on, started by the West in 2014, after its political and intelligence elites launched the Neo-Nazi Maidan insurrection, Europeans don’t only lack even a mere semblance of unity on most crucial matters concerning the EU (itself fading into geopolitical insignificance and obsolescence), but are even severely divided on how its future should look like.
The once-powerful colonialist continent pillaging the rest of the planet for centuries has become a cheap bargaining chip in a conflict between the old Cold War rivals. As the 19th-century French writer Alphonse Karr said, the more things change, the more they stay the same. If there ever was any illusion of European sovereignty, it vanished on February 24, when Russia decided it has had enough.
Despite initial “moral support” by the EU public, it seems Ukraine was just another (very) temporary trend in the minds of the amorphic masses. As the sanctions boomerang starts ravaging EU economies (deservedly so, to say the least), Ukrainian flags on social media started waning into the depths of Internet, first replaced by rainbow flags (the new “religion” of the political West) and then by Europeans finally facing the uncomfortable reality of price hikes, food shortages and an increasingly severe energy deficit. All self-imposed, we should add. As EU governments race to fulfill the will of Washington DC, regardless how much damage that leaves them with, the populace is turning to the very real problems they’re experiencing as a result of this suicidal subservience. This notion becomes even scarier to most Europeans as they realize fall (and soon after, winter) is mere months away.
According to the poll conducted by the Center for Liberal Studies, Europeans remain “largely united” in backing Kiev, but are divided over how long they’re willing to endure the conflict’s economic fallout. The survey across 10 countries suggests attention may turn to fears about the conflict’s wider impact, particularly the rising cost of living. ”EU governments will have to contend with this as they seek to maintain pressure against Moscow,” according to authors Ivan Krastev and Mark Leonard. A bit more than a third of those surveyed want the conflict to be over as soon as possible, even at Ukraine’s expense, while over a fifth (22%) stated it should “last as long as it takes to punish Russia and restore all of Ukraine’s land.”
Expectedly, years of rabid anti-Russian propaganda gave “fruitful” results desired by the mindless Brussels Russophobes – most participants were not divided over “moral support” for the Kiev regime or about “who’s responsible for the war.” According to the poll, published by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), 73% blame Russia, and 64% believe Russia, not the US, EU or the Kiev regime, is the “biggest obstacle to peace.” The poll, conducted online by YouGov and the research company Datapraxis, surveyed 8,172 adults in 10 countries, including Germany, Romania and Sweden, between late April and mid-May. Respondents were divided into those favoring “peace, even at Ukraine’s expense”, and those “wanting justice as the priority, even if it means a protracted conflict”. Nearly 20% are between the two and “still want a strong European response”, while the rest said they didn’t know. “The sentiments will affect European policy on Ukraine”, according to Krastev and Leonard.
The findings suggest public opinion is shifting, and that “the toughest days may lie ahead,” the authors claim. The public worries about the threat of nuclear escalation, and as the feeling grows that sanctions aimed against Russia “are failing to bring results,” the division between “those who want to end the war quickly” and “those who want to see Russia defeated” will grow, Krastev and Leonard added.
With the notable exception of Poland, in all countries, the “piece” camp is larger than the second, labeled “justice.” “Those in the first group worry their governments are prioritizing action against Russia ahead of other important issues, such as rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis,” the ECFR report says. Although the troubled EU economies were yet to recover from the pandemic fallout, the sanctions boomerang propelled the already rising inflation to a record high, with energy prices expected to have the steepest hike. And that was before the EU’s suicidal decision to (officially) cut Russian oil imports.
Prolonging the Ukrainian conflict is set to backfire even harder on the subservient EU political elites as the fall and winter draw closer. With the illegal freezing and possible seizure of Russia’s forex reserves and the sanctions causing severe problems with the global food supply, the EU isn’t only faced with the prospect of an economic and social collapse, but an even worse mass migration crisis at its southern and eastern borders.
The colonialist policies of the political West, particularly its European sector, are about to backfire in ways hardly expected by the belligerent world power pole when they were starting the ill-conceived strategic siege of Russia. Yet another Western attack on the Eurasian giant is failing and “the Bear” is yet to respond and counterattack directly. And if history teaches us anything, these counteroffensives always end badly for Europe.
Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst.
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