The Vulnerable V4

Opinion polls on vulnerability and resilience to Russian disinformation

11 December 2017

Miriam Lexmann

More than 4,000 respondents from the V4 responded to questions including their views on Russia, the European Union and Euro-Atlantic institutions.

Public opinion data is crucial to understanding how and why disinformation is gaining ground. A recent series of public opinion surveys by the International Republican Institute (IRI) of the Visegrad Four (V4) countries and Germany revealed fascinating insights into areas of vulnerability and resilience to Russian disinformation. The polls were commissioned by IRI’s Beacon Project, an initiative that equips European stakeholders with the tools to counter Russian meddling and protect European democracy from the corrosive effects of disinformation.

More than 4,000 respondents from the V4 responded to questions including their views on Russia, the European Union and Euro-Atlantic institutions. The research also studied citizens’ attitudes toward media and revealed interesting correlations between public trust in media and patterns of consumption— hinting at why alternative media may have an outsized effect in some countries and segments of the population. On this point, the results of the V4 polls differed significantly from the survey of German public opinion, the latter of which appeared more resistant to disinformation.

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