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Record-high 89% of Ukrainians want to join NATO, poll shows

Photo: UNIAN

Public support for Ukraine’s accession to NATO among Ukrainians has increased once again, reaching history’s highest level, according to the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KMIS) survey published on 30 June.

In May 2023, the KMIS conducted a nationwide poll in Ukraine to find out how many Ukrainians support Ukraine’s accession to NATO and the European Union (EU) and how many Ukrainian citizens trust President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s Armed Forces, and various government institutions.

The support for joining NATO and the EU among Ukrainians is at an all-time high today. In May, 92% of Ukrainians said they wanted Ukraine to become a member of the EU, and 89% said they wanted Ukraine to join NATO, according to the survey.

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In January 2023, the level of support for Ukraine’s accession to NATO among Ukrainians was a bit lower than it is today: 86% of Ukrainians said they would support Ukraine’s accession to NATO in a nationwide referendum, according to the 12th National Poll by the Ukrainian pollster Sociological Group Rating carried out in January 2023.

The Ukrainian support for joining the EU has also risen by five percent. In January 2023, 87% of Ukrainians supported Ukraine’s accession to the EU, according to the 12th National Poll.

As of May, a record-high 95% of Ukrainians trust the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and 80% of Ukrainian citizens trust Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to the KMIS poll.

“While much of the international media attention has focused on Ukraine’s requests for additional weapons and equipment from its partners, Ukrainians do not just want a strong army. They want a stable and inclusive democracy,” according to the KMIS findings based on the latest poll.

In May, 94% of Ukrainians said it is vital for Ukraine to become “a fully functioning democracy,” according to the KMIS.

To end the war, to bring peace, NATO summit should welcome Ukraine, now

Sociologists of KMIS reported that they had been asking Ukrainians whether Ukraine should be a robust democracy for several years but have never seen such a result. For comparison, in December 2021, only 76% of Ukrainians said it was “vital” or “quite important” that Ukraine become a fully functioning democracy.

In addition, 73% of Ukrainians said that international organizations, Western allies of Ukraine, or international businesses should play a major role in overseeing Ukraine’s reconstruction process after the war.

After over a year of the full-scale Russian invasion and atrocities, Ukrainians do not believe Russia will negotiate in good faith. Five months into the war, in May 2022, 59% of respondents were open to peace talks with Russia. By May 2023, the number of those in favor of negotiations dropped to 33%, while those who opposed negotiations increased to 63%.

65% of Ukrainians believe the LGBT community should have equal rights protected by law.

Ukrainians now expect the war to last longer. Still, their morale and belief in victory in the Russo-Ukrainian war remain unchanged despite the relentless nightly bombardment over the past few months.

Peace in Ukraine cannot mean freezing war on Russia’s terms, NATO chief says

In May 2023, 47% of respondents expected at least six more months of war, compared to 18% in May 2022. In the latest survey, 44% said they had lost friends and family since Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine began in February 2022 (compared to 20% in May 2022).

Over the past year, the number of people who are optimistic about the future has remained virtually unchanged. When asked to name the reason for their optimism, the most frequently mentioned answer was “victory.”

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