Estonians' support for accepting Ukrainian refugees remains high

Refugees from Ukraine aboard Tallink's MS Isabelle, which is docked in Tallinn's Old City Harbor. April 2022.
Refugees from Ukraine aboard Tallink's MS Isabelle, which is docked in Tallinn's Old City Harbor. April 2022. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

73 percent of Estonian residents are in favor of the country accepting Ukrainian war refugees, while 21 percent are opposed, according to the results of a survey commissioned by the Estonian Government Office.

According to a December poll conducted by Turu-uuringute AS and commissioned by the Estonian Government Office, 73 percent of Estonian residents support the country's acceptance of war refugees from Ukraine. 21 percent of those surveyed, said they were against the intake of Ukrainian refugees.

Among ethnic Estonian respondents support for accepting Ukrainian war refugees was even higher than the overall average, at 82 percent.

This figure was much lower for those of other nationalities surveyed, with just 56 percent saying they were in favor of Estonia taking in refugees from Ukraine.

The survey also revealed that, ethnic Estonian respondents continue to consider Estonian-language television channels and news portals to be the most important sources of information for Estonians. 71 percent placed Estonian-language TV channels among their top three most important new sources, while 61 percent said the same for Estonian news portals.

For residents of other nationalities, the most important sources of information were Estonian news portals (48 percent) and social media (43 percent).

14 percent of non-ethnic Estonians surveyed considered Russian TV channels an important source of information, while 10 percent said the same for Russian news portals.

Overall, Russian media channels were considered important sources of information by 21 percent of non-ethnic Estonians surveyed, a figure, which has fallen from 30 percent in April last year.

When it comes to information about Russia's war in Ukraine, ethnic Estonians continue to place the most trust in Estonian news channels (85 percent). The majority of ethnic Estonians also consider Western news channels to be trustworthy on the war, although that ratio dropped slightly from 70 percent in November 2022, to 63 percent.

Estonians' trust in Ukrainian news channels has also decreased from 54 percent to 49 percent since the last poll.

Meanwhile, ethnic Estonians continue to consider Russian news channels largely unreliable sources of information, with just three percent of those surveyed saying they trust them.

Among those residents of other nationalities surveyed, only 43 percent said they considered Estonian news channels to be the most trustworthy for information about Russia's war in Ukraine.

29 percent of non-ethnic Estonian respondents trust Western channels for information on the war in Ukraine, while 22 percent of respondents trust Russian channels, and 21 percent considered Ukrainian channels to be trustworthy.

Sense of security

71 percent of respondents said they were generally satisfied with life in Estonia, a slight rise from November's figure of 68 percent.

The sense of security among those surveyed remained relatively unchanged from the results of the previous poll in November. 55 percent said they currently feel safe in Estonia, while 42 percent responded that they feel unsafe. A month earlier, these figures were 54 percent and 43 percent respectively.

71 percent of those who responded to the survey said that they feel safe living in Estonia, a slight increase from 68 percent in November.

In general, ethnic Estonians feel safer in Estonia than residents of other nationalities. According to the survey, 74 percent of the former reported feeling safe in the country at the moment, while the same was true for 65 percent of the latter. The proportion of non-ethnic Estonian respondents, who said they feel safe in Estonia has, however, risen from 59 percent in November.

The survey was commissioned by the Estonian Government Office and conducted by Turu-uuringute AS by telephone and online between December 14 and 19, 2022.

The survey was targeted at Estonian residents aged 15 and above. A total of 1,256 people responded.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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