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Survey: Half of Czechs Think the Country is Incapable of Defending Itself

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A recent survey conducted by the Centre for Public Opinion Research (CVVM) reveals that the majority of Czech citizens remain committed to the idea of defending their state’s sovereignty at any cost. However, over half of the population harbors doubts about the country’s capability to protect itself in the event of a conflict. This skepticism marks a significant shift from last year, with 40% of respondents expressing confidence in the country’s defense abilities, a notable 13-point increase.

In line with long-standing sentiment, 84% of Czech respondents continue to emphasize the importance of safeguarding their nation’s sovereignty. Conversely, roughly one-tenth of those surveyed consistently oppose this viewpoint, a slight increase from the previous year’s 13%.

The Czech public’s perspective on homeland defense has been notably influenced by the Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine in the past year. The survey authors noted that spring 2022 saw an eight-point surge in determination to protect the country’s sovereignty, but the latest survey reveals a return to approximately 2020 levels of affirmative responses.

A substantial 56% of participants harbor doubts about the Czech Republic’s capacity to defend itself during a conflict. In contrast, a record-breaking 40% of Czech citizens express faith in their country’s ability to defend itself, representing a 13-point upswing compared to 2022.

Almost half of those surveyed do not consider the defense of the Czech Republic to be a vital priority. They share the viewpoint that “superpowers ultimately determine the fate of a small country like ours.” This perspective divides the Czech public into two sizable groups, with the opposing opinion held by an equally substantial portion of the population.

A similar division emerges when considering defense expenditures, with 46% of respondents viewing them as an unnecessary burden on the state budget, while the remaining 50% do not share this sentiment. Interestingly, support for defense spending has grown compared to previous surveys, especially in the years from 2016 to 2022, when the prevailing sentiment regarded it as an undue fiscal burden.

Less than two-fifths of respondents perceive the Czech Army as being on par with Western counterparts, while 52% believe it to be less advanced. According to CVVM, current opinions on the Czech Army’s standing in comparison to Western nations are more critical than in the previous year.

The CVVM survey, conducted from late May to the end of July, involved 929 respondents aged 15 and older.


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