The poll run in Ukraine in July has shown that 64% of Ukrainians favor accession to NATO, says renowned analyst Vitali Portnikov in his article for Radio Svoboda Aug. 17.
The support seems unbelievable. It was the Russian invasion in Ukraine that destroyed the Soviet propaganda myth about NATO’s hostility.
It was not NATO but ‘brotherly’ Russia that attacked Ukraine and seized part of its territory.
Many Ukraine’s ‘well-wishers,’ including those in the West, advised Ukrainians not to anger Russia with the entry in NATO, warning that Russia may react inadequately.
We were not angering Russia – still it reacted quite inadequately.
Had we joined the NATO, Russia would have reacted adequately: Russian soldiers would have remained at home, Crimea and Donbas would have been part of Ukraine and the Ukrainian flag would have flown over Sevastopol.
However, the 64% support for joining NATO, even the 90% support will not give Ukraine a ticket to the alliance because Ukrainians for themselves have to resolve their problems, ensure defense and territorial integrity, and break all the links with Putin’s Russia until its final recovery.
The second half of the deal is, of course, NATO’s consent to accept Ukraine. This deal is worth fighting for.