Poll results: Slight improvement amid national pessimism in Ukraine, positive local outlook

decentralization works

Residents of Dnipro city see local improvements but they are not so optimistic at the national level according to a recent IRI poll. Background: A school in Petrykivka settlement, Dnipro Oblast, reconstructed this year (source: FB Yuri Holik) 

Analysis & Opinion

This summer’s nationwide public opinion survey of Ukrainians revealed a strong support for the NATO and EU and a slight improvement in the public perception of the country’s direction. However, last June only 18% thought that Ukraine was headed in the right direction against 68% of those pessimistic about the overall situation. Meanwhile, an additional poll in four cities revealed that Ukrainians are much more optimistic about local improvements than about general nationwide situation. This may mean that the decentralization reform works.

IRI’s Center for Insights in Survey Research held a public opinion survey of the residents of Ukraine from 9 June to 7 July 2017. The survey polled 2,400 permanent residents of Ukraine aged 18 and older throughout Ukraine sampling the representation of the general population by gender, age, region, and the size of settlements. An additional 4,800 respondents were also surveyed in the four cities of Dnipro, Mykolaiv, Khmelnytskyi, Mariupol to compare local-level responses with nationwide results.

Infographic: iri.org

Infographic: iri.org

The national outlook remains pessimistic since April 2014. However, it has slightly improved as compared with 2015-2016.

The national outlook as of June 2017. Graph: iri.org

The national outlook in 2011-2017. Graph: iri.org

More than 60% of respondents said that the economic situation worsened in entire Ukraine as well as for their households over the last year, 43% are expecting further worsening in the next year.

Local surveys in four cities in different parts of Ukraine revealed that Ukrainians are positive about the local developments against their pessimistic evaluation of the overall situation in the country.

Assessment of the national and local outlook in the western city of Khmelnytskyi as of June 2017. Graph: iri.org

Assessment of the national and local outlook in the western city of Khmelnytskyi as of June 2017. Graph: iri.org

 

Assessment of the national and local outlook in the eastern city of Mariupol as of June 2017. Graph: iri.org

Assessment of the national and local outlook in the eastern city of Mariupol as of June 2017. Graph: iri.org

The positive local outlook may be indicative of progress made in the decentralization reform. The reform created 413 new united territorial communities and gave them resources and authority. It helped implement hundreds of projects, create dozens of convenient public service centers, and build thousands of kilometers of new roads. In December 2016, the Verkhovna Rada allocated 35 billion hryvnia (about $1,3 billion) for the reconstruction of the road infrastructure.

Ukrainians don’t trust their politicians. More than 70% disapprove activities of the President and the Cabinet of Ministers. The disapproval rating of the Parliament is even worse (88%). The highest approval rating of politicians reaches only 22%, while 40-90% tend to negatively evaluate the politicians. The highest ratings of the political parties are merely 5-10%.

Ukrainians express strong support for the European Union and NATO. Most of the respondents are of the opinion that Ukraine should enter both structures. The lowest positive evaluation (29%) of entering the EU was observed in the eastern Ukraine where 40% still want to see Ukraine in the Russia’s Customs Union. The highest (78%) support for the EU membership was discovered in the western provinces.

The approval rating of the economic unions as of June 2017. Graph: iri.org

The approval rating of the economic unions as of June 2017. Graph: iri.org

Some 40% favor entering the NATO with only 16% of supporters in the east and 59% in the country’s west.

The approval rating of the NATO membership as of June 2017. Graph: iri.org

The approval rating of the NATO membership as of June 2017. Graph: iri.org

The Ukrainians remain positive towards most of their neighbor countries as well as towards the US and Canada, the European Union and its member states. Meanwhile, a half of the respondents evaluate cold attitude towards Russia.

Read also: USA and Ukraine are Russia’s top-2 enemies, new Levada poll shows

Attitude towards countries as of June 2017. Graph: iri.org

Attitude towards countries as of June 2017. Graph: iri.org

According to the poll results, the most important issues for Ukraine are corruption within state bodies (51%), the military conflict in the Donbas (50%), and law industry production (29%). Meanwhile, the most important personal issues for the participants of the survey were control over price growth (44), unemployment (34%), the Donbas conflict (34%), and the social protection (31%). Only 30% see corruption as an important personal issue.

 


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  • zorbatheturk

    There is no downside to joining NATO and the EU.

  • Screwdriver

    Interesting that about 50% DO NOT have negative attitude about Russia. Kiev Nazi regime should step up in its anti-Russia campaign, poor results so far. :-)

    • Nikoli

      You can’t count very well, can you – 24% cold / 27% very cold / 3% didn’t answer – so that is 51% in the red or negative. Russian school education?

      • Screwdriver

        You can not read well hlopchik, or you can not comprehend the word “about”. :-)

        • Nikoli

          So you count neutral as a plus (which logic dictates as null) so who is ignorant in comprehension or is that bias only in your rational.
          Or is it your Russian education?

          • Screwdriver

            It is your peasant-ragul education LOL :-)
            ABOUT (per google dictionary) – used with a number or quantity) approximately.
            “reduced by about 5 percent”
            synonyms: approximately, roughly, around, round about, in the region of, circa, of/on the order of, something like; More

            or per https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/about ” reasonably close to * about a year ago”

          • Nikoli

            I find it more “ABOUT” your misrepresentation of facts for your personal twisted reality.
            Look that one up in Webster’s Universal or your favored Wikipedia.
            More likely your lack of education?

      • Ihor Dawydiak

        Too funny. Using Screwball’s rationale, 81% Of Ukrainian citizens DO NOT have a positive view of Russia.

        • Nikoli

          The majority of Screwies rationale is totally irrational. That is his only reason for being and commenting here.

    • Murf

      Dude not even 20% approve of Russia.
      Are Russian’s so hard up for approval that they think if 2 people in 10 don’t hate the them everybody must really like them?