A new survey issued by the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC) Georgia today says that the majority of the public wants the Government to up its level of support to Ukraine and blames Russia or its President Vladimir Putin for the war.
The poll also finds that the Georgian populace is broadly supportive of President Salome Zurabishvili’s performance in relation to the war, while being significantly less approving of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili in the same context.
The Georgian public also remains committed to the country’s membership in the European Union and NATO, according to the findings.
The study was fielded on March 7-10, 2022 and conducted with telephone interviews with random digit dialing. The sample size is 1,092; the response rate is 24% and the margin of error stands at 2.96%.
War in Ukraine
Asked who holds the most responsibility for the war in Ukraine, 43% of the surveyees name Russia, while 37% say Russian President Vladimir Putin.
3% of the interviewees blame the U.S., while 1% each pin the responsibility on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, NATO, the EU and the Ukrainian authorities. Meanwhile, 9% of the surveyees do not know the answer and 1% refuse to answer.
As for Georgia’s backing of Ukraine amid the war, 61% of the surveyees say the Government should support the country more. 32% say that the Government supports Ukraine sufficiently, on the other hand.
2% and 1% of the respondents say the Government should support Ukraine less or not at all, respectively. 4% and 1% meanwhile do not know or refuse to answer.
Also, the majority of the respondents find it fully acceptable or more acceptable than not to supply Ukraine with humanitarian aid, temporarily accept Ukrainian refugees, provide the country with financial assistance, allow volunteers to fight in the war, introduce restrictions on entry of Russian nationals and supply Ukraine with weapons.
Performance of Institutions
The majority of the interviewees, 65%, view the performance of Georgian media amid Russia’s war against Ukraine positively, while 17 assess it negatively and 18% do not know or refuse to answer.
Meanwhile, 64% positively assess the performance of Salome Zurabishvili in this regard. 15% view her performance negatively, and 21% do not know the answer.
As for Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, 41% of the interviewees assess his performance positively, while 39% hold an unfavorable view of the official.
The Georgian Parliament also receives a low approval rate of 34%, all the while 42% voice dissatisfaction with its performance.
Notably, the high level of support for President Zurabishvili remains consistent among interviewees with differing political partisanship, including the ruling Georgian Dream party supporters.
Meanwhile, GD supporters are the only group of interviewees the majority of which assess Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s performance positively in this regard.
Sanctions on Russia
39% of the interviewees believe Georgia should join all the sanctions imposed by the West against Russia and its officials, while 27% say the country should align with only a portion of the measures.
19% believe that Georgia should not participate in any sanctions, 14% do not know and 1% refuse to answer.
Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority, 71%, says the Western sanctions should be made more severe. 10%, 4% and 3% argue the sanctions should remain in the current form, be lightened and removed entirely, respectively.
Support for Euro-Atlantic Integration
The study finds that 75% of the interviewees fully or rather support Georgia’s membership in the EU, and 70% fully or rather back joining NATO. Meanwhile, 75% of the respondents do not support, at all or generally, joining the Eurasian Union.
In the meantime, 66% and 61% fully support Ukraine and Georgia, respectively, becoming EU membership candidates. 14% and 17% are rather supportive of the two countries’ candidacy, respectively.
Asked which party they would support if the parliamentary elections were held tomorrow, 22% name Georgian Dream, 10% — United National Movement, 3% — Lelo, 2% — Girchi – More Freedom, 2% — the Kremlin-friendly Alliance of Patriots, while 2% say they will vote for other parties.
Meanwhile, 16% say they will not vote for any parties, 4% will not participate in the vote, 18% do not know and 20% refuse to answer.