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Ukrainians reject any concessions to Russia, blame Russian leaders and people for the war: opinion poll

War-time Lviv. Photo: Bohdan Ben
The Democratic Initiatives Foundation’s opinion poll shows that Ukrainians living in Ukraine’s center and west:

  • believe that Ukraine would defeat Russia (94%);
  • put blame for the war on Russia’s leadership (94%) and the Russian nationals (54%);
  • don’t support any concessions to Russia (78%);
  • strongly support Ukraine’s accession to the EU (89%);
  • favor the country’s NATO membership (74%);
  • see the UK (66%), US (65%), Poland (63%) as Ukraine’s biggest allies.

From May 7 to 15, the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF) carried out a face-to-face opinion poll in cooperation with the Center for Political Sociology in the seven western and four central oblasts of Ukraine, interviewing 1,000 respondents at the place of their permanent residence. According to DIF, Tthe poll’s sample is representative of indicators such as gender, age, type of settlement, and area of ​​residence with the reported maximum random sampling error amounting to about 2.2%. The poll was funded by the John Fell Oxford University Press Research Fund.

Here are the major findings of the survey.

Ukraine should join the EU and NATO

Support for Ukraine’s accession to the EU increased by 16% among the population of the country’s west and center as compared to pre-war data from early February 2022.

The pollees from the west and center of Ukraine believe that the country’s NATO membership remains the best option to ensure Ukraine’s security. Only about 3% of respondents supported Ukraine’s non-aligned status without guarantees while support for the non-aligned status with strong security guarantees stands at about 13% (against 74% supporting the accession to NATO).

More Ukrainians support military alliance with UK & Poland than NATO accession, poll shows

Ukraine’s friends and foes

Russia’s all-out war changed the public opinion about Ukraine’s top allies. Central and western Ukrainians believed in February that the country’s top allies were the US (38%), Poland (35%), and Germany (28%). Meanwhile, in May, Britain is on the top of the list with 66%, followed by Poland (65%) and the US (63%). Favorable opinions of Germany as Ukraine’s ally decreased by 14% (to 14%). Other significant drops in perceiving the countries as allies occurred with Georgia (-13% to 1%), and Belarus (-10% to 0%).

All Russians are responsible for the war

People permanently living in the sampled western and central oblasts of Ukraine now strongly believe that Russia is responsible for the beginning of the full-scale war. This number increased from 61% in February to 96% in May 2022. What is more, the majority of pollees (54%) also put responsibility for the war on the Russian people.

About 80% not ready for any concessions to Russia

The polled Ukrainians have become more reluctant to giving any concessions to Russia in exchange for its consent to put an end to its military aggression. In February 43% of the respondents in the central and western oblasts didn’t support any concessions, while in May this number grew to 78%.

44% believe that Ukraine should negotiate only humanitarian issues with Russia, while 34% favor the suspension of any talks until the Russian troops are expelled from Ukraine.

Ukraine is going to defeat Russia, sever all relations with it, ban entry for Russians

In May 2022, 94% of respondents in the surveyed regions believed that Ukraine would defeat Russia.

Among the strong believers in Ukraine’s victory (78%), almost half (41%) see the victory as an expulsion of Russian troops from the whole territory of Ukraine, while the other half (41%) believe that the victory is a total defeat of the Russian army and assistance to an insurgency inside Russia or even the disintegration of the Russian Federation.

After the end of the war, most of respondents (91%) want a complete breakup of all relations with Russia, including a ban on the entry of Russians into Ukraine.

71% of Russians feel “pride, joy, respect, hope” regarding war against Ukraine – poll

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