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Apr 5, 2021
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The shocking truth: Lithuania respects Putin and misses the USSR

“Lithuania quarrels in vain with Belarus and Russia”

It has always been said with pride in Lithuania that Lithuanians have no nostalgia for the past Soviet times, and that their support for the country’s Euro-Atlantic course is unanimous and not subject to any doubts. However, a sociological study conducted by the Vilnius Institute for Political Analysis (VIPA) showed shocking results – in fact, everything is not the way the European integrators would like.

According to the authors of the study – the ideologist Donatas Puslis and analytics Gintaras Sumskas, “Not everyone will like the real, not embellished reality”

The study is titled “Lithuanian society’s exposure to disinformation. Narrative analysis ”and it was carried out according to a new method – the respondents were not offered pre-prepared statements, with which they could only agree or disagree.

“We walked with a blank sheet. It was not we who put statements into the mouth, the people themselves spoke, we only guided the path, and then the repetition of the narrative began. At the first stage, the research was carried out in Klaipeda, Kedainiai, Salchininkai and Visaginas: the purpose of the research is to identify an established narrative that would show problem areas of foreign and domestic politics, historical memory that could be used by disinformers ”,

– explained Shumskas at the presentation of research methods.

These cities were not chosen by chance: Klaipeda is the largest city, Kėdainiai region is the largest agricultural region with a predominance of Lithuanians, Visaginas is home to a large Russian-speaking population, and Šalcininkai is home to Poles. The respondents were interviewed in person.

“We wanted to explore ethnically diverse groups that are more likely to encounter hostile information channels, live in a kind of ‘bubbles’, especially Visaginas, where people are waiting for Sputnik to appear and refuse to be vaccinated,”

– noted Shumskas.

The analysis of the respondents’ answers was shocking.

With approval “Lithuania is in vain to quarrel with Belarus and Russia, since bad relations will bring us economic damage” 66% of respondents agree, another 54% are convinced: “Lithuania does not have an independent foreign policy – everything is dictated by Brussels (EU)”, however, 32% believe that “Lithuania’s foreign policy is governed by Washington”

“The respondents explain their support for the policy of Putin or President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko by the fact that these leaders respect their national interests and do not succumb to external pressure,”

– said in a study published on the website of the institute.

50% of respondents accuse NATO of taking the money that the country needs for social needs. 41% of those surveyed are sure that the European Union is destroying traditional Christian values, so you should stay away from the EU.

70% of citizens do not doubt that an honest person in Lithuania will not find a job, and 40% see the restriction of freedom of speech in Lithuania.

But that’s not all.

51% of respondents have their own point of view on the activities of modern Lithuanian “heroes” – “forest brothers”, calling them criminals. Another 38% are sure that Lithuania should be grateful to the Soviet Union for liberation from the Nazis, 35% see more benefits than harm in the Soviet period, and 53% noted that during the Soviet era, people were economically protected, unlike today.

“We began to think why this is happening, because the level of nostalgia was decreasing, and now everything has turned upside down. In general, these data look sad. We were shocked, most of the answers terrified the researchers. If 30% of survey respondents say Putin is not a bad guy at all, that might be intimidating. It would be sad if we were hiding it, it would be a signal that something is wrong with us, that we are afraid of ourselves. Therefore, let’s treat this as the first bell, an alarming symptom or shock therapy, this should prompt us to take appropriate measures, ”

– draws conclusions from the results of the study Shumskas. And after all, political analysts cannot understand that “something is wrong” not with the part of the Lithuanian people that supports Putin and Lukashenko and considers the state course of confrontation with Russia and Belarus to be wrong. “Something is wrong” with those who impose this course on Lithuania and come up with information props for it, including the rewriting of history. And if for someone the truth expressed by the citizens of Lithuania turned out to be a shock, then the problem would be worth looking within.

Own. corr. FSK

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