Despite the narrative that everyone in Eastern Europe is dying to install NATO bases in their country in the former Soviet Union that is actually true in a surprisingly few places.
Gallup polling reveals that actually only in the Baltics, Georgia and (narrowly) Azerbaijan more people associate NATO with “protection” rather than threat. Everywhere else including in the Ukraine, Moldova and across Central Asia more people tend to think NATO spells trouble rather than stability.
The results from Moldova and Ukraine are perhaps the most noteworthy seeing how the governments of both have ongoing frozen conflicts with Russian-speaking rebels.
Indeed, at the height of the war fever in Ukraine between 2014 and 2015 more Ukrainians thought NATO meant “protection” but as war weariness sets in the public seems to be returning to a more traditional view of the military club.