EIU Report: 70% of Global Population Is Neutral or Supportive of Russia, Not the West
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has published a report stating that one year following the start of the Russia / Ukraine conflict, a growing number of countries are siding with Moscow. Nearly 70% of the global population live in neutral or Russia-leaning countries.
Opinions have also been shifting. Notable moves towards Russia since March 2022 include South Africa, (a BRICS member) Turkiye (a NATO member) and Qatar amongst others.
There are several reasons for this trend. Firstly, the intense blanket, anti-Russian propaganda has largely been restricted to the West for consumption by voters and the general public in order to shore up public opinion in the West’s favour and to head off any mass societal questioning about the political handling of the situation. These views have not been pushed as hard elsewhere.
With less political and media rhetoric and pressure, journalists and academics have been able to take a more balanced view of the Ukraine situation and the West’s involvement. Many are not impressed by the handling of this nor the fact that the impact of the conflict – rising fuel and energy prices, has affected their economies in what is seen as the West’s problem. The EU in particular has been seen as greedy in terms of pushing up the price of fuel, buying up all available stocks without thought of other nation’s needs. That also extended to grain supplies, where Ukrainian exports were diverted to the EU instead of the poorer nations it is usually sold to. This behaviour has cemented a wider global opinion that the West is fundamentally greedy and will not share resources on a worldwide basis.
Third, there is the long-term trade aspect. Russia, along with China, has generally been rather more supportive of smaller nations than the West has, and has been making diplomatic, trade and security overtures to them. The West, and especially the United States is increasingly being viewed as arrogant, imposing and the cause of numerous regional conflicts.
Fourth, there are differing perspectives. The West is seen in part as having become decadent, even immoral. This is especially true in the context of trans-gender, LGBTQ rights, and issues affecting child development. There is a sense of the end of the old global order, built around the United States and EU (the so-called ‘Golden Billion’) coming to an end as a unipolar construct and the replacement of this with greater say in world order by emerging and newly powerful nations.
There will be consequences as a result of these views, depending upon the outcome of the conflict. Should the West prevail, huge numbers of people globally will be resistant to further Western assertiveness in their regions – leading to increasing potential for conflict. While the US, EU and UK may not want to hear that, it will be an undeniable truth – with consequences potentially more serious than the Ukraine issue. The EIU findings should be seen as a warning to the United States and EU that the majority are decidedly not aligned with a Western focused world order.
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