September poll: Support for welcoming Ukrainian refugees stays high

Tallink's passenger ferry M/S Isabelle will act as temporary accommodation for refugees fleeing war in Ukraine.
Tallink's passenger ferry M/S Isabelle will act as temporary accommodation for refugees fleeing war in Ukraine. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The public's support for receiving Ukrainian refugees has not changed significantly since August, with 73 percent of the people in favor and 20 percent opposed.

According to polls commissioned by the Government Office and conducted by Turu-uuringute research company, support for receiving Ukrainian war refugees peaked in April at 81 percent.

The poll found that 84 percent of Estonians supported the admission of war refugees in September, compared to 53 percent of respondents from other countries (mostly Russian speakers).

The slight decrease in overall support is due to a decline in support among respondents of other nationalities, 56% of whom supported admitting Ukrainian war refugees in August.

However, there has been a shift among Estonian respondents who were "very much in favor" of receiving war refugees in the early months of the war, but in August and September, their total number slightly decreased, and the number of respondents who were "moderately in favor" increased.

Where news and insights come from

Estonian-language TV channels continue to be the most important sources of information for Estonians (73 percent in September and 67 percent in August), followed by Estonian news portals (58 percent ) and radio (38 percent).

The most important sources of information for residents of other nationalities are Estonian news portals (44 percent), but also social media (37 percent including mostly Facebook and YouTube), and communication with friends/relatives/acquaintances (25 percent).

25 percent mentioned Russian-language Estonian TV channels and broadcasts, compared to 31 percent in August.

Russian TV channels continue to be an important source of information for 16 percent, as do Russian news portals for 8 percent.

In total, 21 percent of residents of other ethnicity cited Russian media channels as important sources of information for them (compared to 24 percent in August and June, and 30 percent in April and May).

Confidence in receiving information about war

While Estonians' trust in Estonian, Western and Ukrainian news outlets for information about the war in Ukraine decreased somewhat during the summer months, it has returned to spring levels in September: 88 percent of Estonians trust Estonian media outlets (up from 80 percent in August), 69 percent trust Western outlets (up from 63 percent), and 56 percent trust Ukrainian outlets (up from 48 percent).

Trust in Russian media channels remains stable among Estonians at a low level of only three percent.

The trust of residents of other nationalities in media news has not changed compared to August: 31 percent trust Estonian new outlets, 23 percent trust Russian, 23 percent trust Western and 15 percent trust Ukrainian news outlets.

The trust of residents of other nationalities in Russian media outlets was higher in June and May (30-31 percent).

Economic security

In September, 30 percent of the Estonian population experienced economic difficulty, with those aged 65 to 74, of other ethnicity, residing in North-East Estonia, having a lower level of education, or living in a single-person household experiencing it more commonly than the national average.

The percentage of people suffering economic difficulties has not changed since August (28 percent).

A similar proportion of individuals (59 percent in August and 60 percent in September) feel economically insecure about the future.

In August, 65 percent of Estonians were satisfied with life, whereas in September figures dropped to 61 percent.

Perception of security

Estonian residents' sense of security has not changed compared to August with 52 percent of residents (50 percent in August) feel no threat to Estonian state at the moment and 69 percent (67 percent in August) feel safe living in Estonia.

Estonians and residents of other nationalities have the same attitude on the safety of the Estonian state, but residents of other nationalities feel significantly less secure than Estonians regarding their own safety in Estonia.

The disparities across ethnic groups have widened since August.

Compared to August, the differences between ethnic groups have increased. Among Estonians, 75 percent feel secure living in Estonia (up from 69 percent in August), while 58 percent of residents of other ethnicity feel safe in Estonia (down from 64 percent in August).


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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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