Visa-free travel to the EU Schengen zone for Ukrainian citizens remains a favorite topic for the Russian disinformation machine. The latest story to join the already long list of fakes dedicated to this topic is the claim that most Ukrainians are not interested in visa-free travel to the EU at all.
Ukraina.ru, InformBuro, Holos.ua, ATN.ua and others carried this fake. The source for this fake claim is a poll by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation conducted in the beginning of June, the results of which have been totally misrepresented by the Russian media.
One of the questions asked was “How important is the introduction of the visa-free regime with the EU-countries for you? 10% answered very important, 29 chose important, 24 said slightly important, 34% opted for not important and nearly 4% responded it was difficult to say.
Only 34% said that visa-free travel to EU countries was not important. But Russian media decided to lump slightly important and not important together – that gave them 58% – and claim that the majority of Ukrainians were not at all interested in this new and exciting opportunity. However, when you add the numbers that answered very important, generally important and slightly important, you get 63%, 63% of Ukrainians feel that visa free travel for them has some level of importance. That’s the real result of the Democratic Initiatives poll.
One of the attributes of propaganda is the attempt to appear to be truthful and authentic to its audience, for this propagandist claims are often backed up by distorted results of sociological surveys.