As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia pushes into its eighteenth month, Lithuanians continue to rally in support of the embattled nation, undeterred by the barrage of information and prolonged tension. Recent data, as per a survey conducted in June by the agency Idea Prima, reveals an unwavering commitment to support Ukraine, both in terms of donations and volunteer work. Additionally, Lithuanians have been displaying a growing interest in how NATO countries are planning to intervene in the ongoing crisis.
The study shows that 74% of respondents have personally contributed to various initiatives aimed at supporting Ukraine, which marks an increase of 5 percentage points from a survey done in October 2022 by Synopticom. Furthermore, the number of those indifferent to the plight of Ukraine has fallen from 31% to 26%.
Linas Damanskis, partner at Idea Prima, shared insights into the findings, “Despite the enduring crisis, the spirit of empathy among Lithuanians remains unbroken. They are not just following the news, but actively supporting Ukraine through donations and volunteer activities.”
As per the survey, most Lithuanians have donated up to €100 towards aid efforts in Ukraine. While the proportion of small donations has marginally dipped, there has been an increase in substantial contributions, with the number of individuals donating over €500 rising from 5% to 7%. Interestingly, the survey also highlighted a gender divide in the form of support, with men being more likely to donate money (59%) and women more likely to donate items (28%).
Volunteerism has also seen a rise, with 10% of respondents reporting participation in such activities, up from 8% in October 2022.
In terms of staying informed about the ongoing conflict, Lithuanians primarily rely on television, followed by news portals and social media. The survey revealed a slight decline in the trust placed in social media as a reliable source of news. Damanskis explained this trend, “The initial phase of the war saw a surge in social media usage due to its immediacy. However, as the situation prolonged, people have begun valuing reliability and depth of analysis over mere speed.”
Social media channels of Lithuania and Ukraine are the most trusted sources for updates on the war, with 66% and 26% of the population’s trust, respectively. The trust in Russian social media channels, however, continues to dwindle. Also, there has been a significant rise in interest in the decisions taken by NATO member states in this crisis.
Facebook continues to be the primary platform for war-related news, followed by Youtube and Telegram. The most popular topics on these platforms include updates on the progress of the war and expert analysis and predictions.
The survey was conducted on behalf of Idea Prima by Synopticom, involving 614 Lithuanian residents aged between 18 and 60+, all of whom had at least one active social media account.