Americans confuse Ukraine and Kazakhstan on world map08 april 2014, 18:29
After the Crimea separated from Ukraine and joined Russia this March, the United States have been facing a dilemma of whether to resort to military actions or restrain themselves to economic sanctions and political pressure.
Survey Sampling International polled 2066 Americans asking them to point the location of Ukraine on the world map and give their opinion on what action the United States should take in Ukraine.
It turned out that only one out of every six respondents (16%) knew the correct location of the country. Many respondents mistook the large Central Asian country of Kazakhstan for Ukraine. Some confused Ukraine with Portugal, Sudan or Finland. Others even thought that Ukraine is located close to Brazil or the Indian Ocean.
The accuracy of responses varied across demographic groups. Young people aged from 18 to 24 years were the most successful group: 27% of them were able to locate Ukraine. Besides, it turned out that college graduates were more knowledgeable of geography than university graduates.
It is noteworthy that U.S. military personnel, too, demonstrated poor knowledge of geography with only 16% being able to find Ukraine on the map. Another curious fact is that politically independent Americans completed the task better than Republicans or Democrats.
But what is the most striking is that there is a consistent pattern: the less knowledgeable the respondents were of Ukraine's location, the more supportive they were of military intervention of the United States into the conflict.
However, the survey showed that the costlier an operation in Ukraine is, the more Americans oppose it: 45% supported the idea of boycotting of G8 summit and only 13% advocated for the use of force.
The poll comes as a reality check: while most of the previous media polls simply asked the Americans to identify their preferences with respect to the US actions in the ongoing situation in Ukraine, this poll showed that the Americans know little about the country itself and even its location.