GEOPOLITICAL SENTIMENTS OF THE DONETSK RESIDENTS IN CONDITIONS OF ARMED CONFLICT (2014–2021)
Keywords:geopolitical sentiment, hybrid war, citizens of Donetsk, EU, Eurasian Customs Union, Russia, Ukraine
The article analyzes the geopolitical orientations of the citizens of Donetsk, in the conditions of the hybrid aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine during 2014–2021. It was found out that the prewar period of pro-Russian sentiments of local residents expressed not in separatist ambitions, but in desire to join Russian political/economic projects. In the conditions of "Russian spring" these moods have not proved fundamental changes, as sociological surveys showed. Most of their participants did not aim to join their region to an aggressor country. Further aggravation of the military-political situation by the Kremlin has led to the separation of the Donetsk region in two territories controlled by the Ukrainian authorities and temporarily occupied. This affected the change in geopolitical sympathies. During 2015–2017, an equable commitment between the European Union and Eurasian Customs Union in the polls, with a significant proportion of neutral status, is observed. They are experiencing minor movements towards the growth of the European course. However, the opposite trend is observed in the future. This is due to socio-political events in Ukraine and the influence of hostile propaganda to the mass consciousness of Donetsk.