The survey, commissioned by the government office and conducted by market research firm Turu-tutkimusute AS, also found that the share of respondents among “other nationalities” who say they trust Russian channels rose from 39 % at the beginning of February, before the Russian invasion. Ukraine, to 27% in mid-March.
“Other nationalities” refers in practice to mainly Russian-speaking respondents.
For ethnic Estonians, the most important sources of information are Estonian-language television channels (74% of respondents ranked it among their three most important sources), online news portals (61% ) and radio (36%).
Among respondents of other nationalities, the largest shares of respondents by type of media were 43%, for news portals 35% – who viewed social media as the most trusted source of information – and 32% for TV channels (Russian language).
Since late February, Russian-language news portals and TV channels have declined in importance for respondents of other nationalities, says Turu-tutkimusute, although the results of different monitoring surveys have varied widely.
ERR’s two Estonian-language TV channels, ETV and ETV2, are considered the most trusted channels for news and other information among the Estonian population, followed by Estonian-language radio channels and Internet portals. information in the Estonian language, while for those of other nationalities, word-of-mouth communication with friends, relatives and acquaintances is one of the most reliable sources, with Russian-language television channels based in Estonia and their content, and Russian-language news portals based in Estonia.
Estonians consider the Estonian-language TV channels of the ERR (ETV and ETV2) to be the most reliable news channels for acquiring information and knowledge.
However, people of other nationalities communicate with friends, relatives and acquaintances, Estonian TV channels and programs in Russian, and Estonian news portals in Russian.
The proportion of respondents who found Russian media (news portals or TV channels) trustworthy among the group of other nationalities rose from 40% at the end of February to 33% in the latest survey.
Information about the war in Ukraine
When it comes to news about the Russian-Ukrainian war, ethnic Estonians continue to trust Estonian channels the most (89%), followed by 67% for “Western” channels, 52% for Ukrainian channels and only 2% for Russian channels.
Respondents of other nationalities also found Estonian channels the most trustworthy, although a lower proportion and a minority of the total (39%), compared to 27% for Russian-language channels from Russia itself (as noted by compared to 39% at the beginning of February).
The proportion of respondents of other nationalities who found “Western” and Ukrainian channels trustworthy were 24% and 16% respectively.
The growth of confidence in the coverage of the Ukrainian war by the Estonian media among residents of other nationalities within the framework of the reflection on the war is mainly due to the fact that the share of those who made so far trust both Estonians and Russian media in this area (going from 12% to 8%) but now prefer to trust Estonian media only (going from 19% to 26%).
The share of those who trust the media of the Russian Federation but do not trust the Estonian media (17%), as well as the share of those who do not trust either (27%), do not changed significantly from the February results.
Support for the reception of war refugees
Support for the reception of war refugees from Ukraine remained at the same level in mid-March as at the end of February: 79% of the population as a whole supports the reception of refugees in Estonia (cf. 77 % at the end of February).
The breakdown by ethnicity saw a much higher proportion (92%) of ethnic Estonians in favor of welcoming war refugees from Ukraine, compared to 51% among other nationalities – figures again largely unchanged compared to February (91% and 48% respectively).
Residents’ sense of safety
Estonian residents’ sense of safety remains broadly at the same level as at the end of February, according to the survey.
54% of respondents said the Estonian state currently feels safe with them (unchanged from last month), with 67% saying they feel safe living in Estonia (slightly down from 70% in February) .
There was also little difference between ethnic Estonians and those of other nationalities on these issues, although the proportion of those of other nationalities who lost their personal security declined.
The share of people in economic difficulty has decreased in recent months: while it stood at 30% at the end of January, it had fallen to 25% at the end of February, reaching the level of 22% in mid-March.
Despite some improvement in the economic situation, public economic confidence has declined in recent weeks: the proportion of people feeling financially uncertain about the future has risen from 45% to 51% since the end of February.
At the same time, 44% of Estonians say they still feel economic insecurity, compared to 65% of residents of other nationalities.
26 percent of the population have no savings, while 7 percent reported having significant financial obligations in addition to no savings (eg, apartment loans or quick loans).
People aged 65 to 74, belonging to the group of other nationalities, with lower levels of education and/or living in the North-East of Estonia encounter more often than average problems of economic adaptation and overall economic insecurity.
The survey was commissioned by the government office and conducted by Turu-tutkimusute AS both online and by phone, from March 11-15. 1,256 residents aged 15 and over from across the country participated.