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USA & NATO responsible for Ukraine war, German & French public say in poll
Most people in Germany and France blame the United States and/or NATO for the war in Ukraine, according to a poll conducted not by a pro-Russian group but rather by anti-Putin activists.
Most people in Germany and France blame the United States or NATO for the war in Ukraine, according to a poll conducted not by a pro-Russian group but rather by anti-Putin activists.
This public opinion is unlikely to have a significant impact on government policy, however.
Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stated bluntly in a NATO-funded conference in 2022 that Berlin would support Ukraine “no matter what my German voters think”.
An anti-Putin advocacy group that calls itself the "Anti-Corruption Foundation" conducted a poll in Europe to assess popular opinion of the war in Ukraine.
To their surprise, they found that a majority of people in Germany, the most populous country with the largest economy in the European Union, did not blame Russia for the war.
60% of Germans blamed either the USA, NATO, or Ukraine for starting the war. Just 27% of Germans blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In the German poll, respondents were only allowed to pick one answer. In France, the poll was a bit different, and people could blame multiple parties for starting the war in Ukraine. (This explains why the sum of the latter poll is greater than 100%.)
Among the French surveyed, 43% blamed the USA, 36% NATO, 19% Ukraine, and 19% other European countries, while 40% blamed Putin.
These results suggest that many average Europeans can see clearly that the conflict in Ukraine is not merely a battle between Kiev and Moscow, but rather a proxy war that the NATO military alliance, led by the United States, is waging against Russia.
The outcome of these polls is even more striking when one considers who sponsored them.
The so-called "Anti-Corruption Foundation" was founded by Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, a regime-change activist who is openly supported by Western governments.
Navalny started his political career as a far-right nationalist, participating in racist rallies alongside skinheads and fascists.
In 2007, Navalny made a fascistic campaign ad in which he compared Muslim immigrants in Russia to cockroaches, portrayed them as monsters, and even shot one with a gun.
In his early years as a political gadfly, Navalny appealed to far-right racists with insinuations that he would kick out immigrants from the Caucasus.
Despite its name, Navalny's "Anti-Corruption Foundation" (ACF) doesn't focus much on corruption. Rather, it is an explicitly anti-Putin opposition group, closely linked to Western governments, and flush with funding.
At the top of its website (as of August 2023), the ACF says, "Together against Putin". It has a big photo of Navalny, stating, "The man Putin fears". A button below reads, "Defeat Putin".
This group is not in any way subtle; it is a Western-backed regime-change organization, dedicated to overthrowing the Russian government.
Navalny's chief of staff is an anti-Putin activist named Leonid Volkov. In his own political career, Volkov has long been involved in promoting neoliberal economics and pro-EU policies.
Volkov was the longtime chairman of Navalny's "Anti-Corruption Foundation", although he was ironically exposed for being involved in corruption, lying about lobbying the EU to lift sanctions on London-based Russian oligarchs.
On 16 August, Volkov tweeted the results of the poll, showing that a majority of people in Germany and France blame the US and/or NATO for the war in Ukraine.
Volkov claimed the results are evidence of "how successful Putin is in spreading his lies and conspiracy theories in Western Europe".
He failed to mention the US-sponsored 2014 coup in Ukraine, Washington's color revolution in Kiev in 2004, NATO's constant expansion and encirclement of Russia, the intentional sabotage of the Minsk Accords by Ukraine's leader Volodymyr Zelensky, or the West's refusal to grant Russian security guarantees in late 2021.