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One result of the ongoing conflict is hardening attitudes among the Ukrainian population toward Russia and Russians.

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It is not clear that Poroshenko could secure a constitutional majority in the Rada (parliament) to pass such an amendment.

As anti-Russian sentiment has grown, so has the appeal of the West.

The large majority of Ukrainians generally hoped to get along with Russia; many spoke Russian as their first language and had family and/or friends in Russia. Since 2014, a Ukrainian national iden­tity has taken hold. In an April 2017 public opinion survey conducted by Rating Group Ukraine, 57 percent of Ukrainians polled ex­pressed a very cold or cold attitude toward Russia, as opposed to only 17 percent who expressed a very warm or warm attitude.

The hardening of anti-Russian sentiment could make it more difficult for Kyiv to im­plement the political provisions of Minsk II if a ceasefire were to take hold.

The European Union, with its allure of economic prosperity and functioning democracy, has long at­tracted the interest of a sizeable portion of the Ukrainian population.

That appeal grew as the Yanukovych presidency lurched toward greater authoritarianism in 2010-2013.

The last three years have also witnessed growing Ukrainian public support for joining NATO.

For example, the April 2017 survey showed that 46 percent of Ukrainians favor joining the alliance, as opposed to 27 percent who opposed joining.

That could prove a tough proposition, and it would be wise for the government in Kyiv to moderate public expectations about future EU membership.

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