The war in Ukraine has been one of the most interesting geopolitical conflicts of the 21st century. Partly because it is a land invasion in Europe, a type of war that many thought had died with the Third Reich, as well as a conflict that has sparked the rebirth of wartime heroic nationalism. This conflict lacks the moral ambiguity of the conflicts in the Middle East, whilst it is true that any conflict will have motivations that are morally ambiguous, they can also have moments that are universally condemned. A social media study concluded that, “conflict often arises because of differences in interests and can also be caused by domination and the desire to dominate” . Ukraine’s nationalism has garnered strong public support because it is a resistance to this indefensible domination by the Russian state. This perceived binary of good and evil has been perpetuated in all modern conflicts, but often it’s because of the dissemination of propaganda not the nature of the conflict itself.
This new nationalism may curry favour with the populace of many Western countries, but the same socio-economic needs that all nations possess may greatly influence how many people are willing to extend their support. That’s not say that the Russian invasion is any less deplorable simply because some people might misinterpret some slogans, but rather that the same type of nationalism that deluded the Russian government into invading Ukraine might take hold in these supposedly more enlightened nations. This is an aspect of the political climate noted by the European Council on Foreign Relations, “The response to Russia’s invasion in Ukraine can be viewed as both an embrace of sovereignty by the liberals and a further mainstreaming of some of the parties on the nationalistic right”
How far will this support last?
In the UK alone cost of living crisis has become the most predominant issue of the day, not the fight for Ukraine independence. The latest opinion polls seem to indicate that the UK populace overall supports the war in Ukraine and believes that any hits to energy or cost of living in the UK are worth it to continue providing humanitarian aid, at least for the moment. But these same polls also indicate that Labour voters are more likely to show some scepticism to the events in Ukraine, with only “half of 26–35-year-olds believe it has had a positive effect”4. This suggests that Labour voters will almost unanimously show support for Ukrainians fleeing conflict but has less enthusiasm for sending supplies into the conflict itself. This could be explained by how likely left-wing voters are to be connected to and uphold the place of academia in making foreign policy decisions. This isn’t to imply that academics are pro Putin, just that some academics will reflexively provide a more sympathetic ear to countries that go against American and other capitalist nations interests. Katerina Fredichiova, Assistant professor at the Department of International Relations and European Studies, recalled a Ukrainian professor describing how strange it was to hear, “Some of my American and European colleagues still try to justify the anti-Ukrainian politics of Putin’s Russia as the ‘anti-imperialist and anti-reaction of the Russian people’” .
The unification of the west
This new form of heroic nationalism demonstrated in Ukraine also has effects on other Western countries even if these other states are not in any direct danger of invasion. They are still able to unite over the same Western democratic principles. The war in Ukraine has done nothing but strengthen the ties between the US and Europe. Countries that previously referred to each over with less then friendly terms are now stating the US to be a firm ally in their foreign policy goals. Whilst it is unlikely for this conflict to create a new cold war or anything of the like, the shock of a land war in Europe has singlehandedly justified the existence of NATO and fostered closer ties between Western democratic states. But what we must always keep in mind when recounting the voting habits of other nations populations will be affected by how close they are to the conflict and how much their own internal problems affect them. Indeed, a study in Romania found that, Romanians were negatively influenced by their belief that the conflict would escalate, “the quality of life of the people of Romania, as a state in the proximity of a military conflict with the potential to escalate” . To put it simply those that feel protected and have their countries improved by being in the EU will support it and any allies it makes. This may seem obvious, but it could go to explaining why a nation might not side with the EU.
 Julianto,M.,Malau,Y.,Hidayat,W., 2022. Sentiments Analysis of Twitters Opinion on The Russia and Ukraine war using Bert. Jurnal Riset Informatika. Available from: https://doaj.org/article/ccf8669735d2431e85e518221070aee7 5 (1),459-468 [Accessed 23rd October 2023]
 Krastev,I Leonard, M., 2023 Fragile unity: Why Europeans are coming together on Ukraine (and what might drive them apart) – European Council on Foreign Relations. [online] ECFR. Available from: https://ecfr.eu/publication/fragile-unity-why-europeans-are-coming-together-on-ukraine/. [Accessed, 18th October 2023]
 Aspinall, E. and Keogh, E, 2023. 2023 Annual Survey of UK Public Opinion on Foreign Policy and Global Britain. online British Foreign Policy Group. Available from: https://bfpg.co.uk/2023/07/2023-annual-survey/ [Accessed 13 Oct. 2023]
 Fridrichová, K., 2023. Mugged by reality: Russia’s strategic narratives and the war in Ukraine. Defence and security analysis,https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14751798.2023.2201018, 39 (3), 1-15
 Mărcău, F.C., Peptan, C., Gorun, H.T., Băleanu, V.D. and Gheorman, V. 2022. Analysis of the impact of the armed conflict in Ukraine on the population of Romania. Frontiers in Public Health. Available from; https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2022.964576/full, 10, (PMC9372605) [Accessed 23rd October 2023]
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