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Poll: 62% of Ukrainians prioritize elections only after war’s end

The poll also shows that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s approval dipped slightly to 82% in September from 86% in April 2023, but remains high.
President Zelenskyy casts his vote in the local elections on 25 October 2020. Photo:
Poll: 62% of Ukrainians prioritize elections only after war’s end

Ukrainians remain committed to democracy and European Integration after the war, the results of the International Republican Institute (IRI) poll showed.

According to the poll results, 62% of Ukrainians support the idea that elections should only be held after the war is over. It also showed that only:

  • 22% of respondents prefer to see elections take place as early as March 2024;
  • 6% would like to see elections take place as early as September 2024;
  • 3% in March 2025, if the war is still ongoing at those times.

“Once victory is achieved, Ukrainians are prepared to participate in elections,” said Stephen Nix, IRI’s Senior Director for Eurasia.

In addition, respondents think that the Ukrainian diaspora should participate in Ukrainian elections: 70% of respondents believe it is “very important” or “somewhat important.”

 Screenshot of the results report the International Republican
Institute poll. Credit: International Republican

Recently, over 100 Ukrainian NGOs issued a public appeal stating that presidential elections and full-scale war are incompatible as Ukraine’s Constitution prohibits holding elections during wartime. In addition, the election during war could undermine national unity, and provide openings for Russian disinformation, the NGOs believe.

In the IRI’s poll, Ukrainian respondents were also asked about their support for being included in NATO.

According to the results, about eight in ten Ukrainians favour joining the European Union and NATO if given the chance in a referendum. 79% of them would vote in a referendum to join NATO. Compared with the same answer to the same question in April 2022, the results highlight a 20-point increase, when 59% of respondents supported Ukraine joining NATO.

Screenshot of the results report the International Republican
Institute poll. Credit: International Republican

Meanwhile, Ukrainians are confident in an eventual Ukraine’s victory. It showed:

  • 73% of respondents believe Ukraine will definitely win the war;
  • 21% believe Ukraine will likely win the war against Russia;
  • only 1% do not believe in Ukraine’s victory.

In addition, Ukrainians are sure the victory should be recognised with the country’s borders being restored to their internationally recognized 1991 lines.

 Screenshot of the results report the International Republican
Institute poll. Credit: International Republican

When asked about reconstruction the majority of Ukrainians believe that reconstruction priorities should be set locally:

  • 59% of respondents believe that citizens of the city/town/community should decide on reconstruction priorities;
  • 41% of Ukrainians believe that local elected authorities should take responsibility for this;
  • about 23% think the decisions on reconstruction should be made with the help of international organizations or experts appointed by Ukraine’s central government.

This support has increased from a recent IRI poll in February 2023.

Answering the question about the support for Ukrainian government officials, Ukraine’s Armed Forces ranked the list of support with 96% of respondents, indicating they “approve” of the work the forces are doing, down slightly from 100% in April 2022.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy scored second on the list with 82% of respondents approving his performance, followed by Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs, with 71% of respondents approving of his performance.

Ukrainians are the least likely to approve the parliament’s work with 27% of respondents indicating they “approve” down from 64% in April 2022.

As a conclusion to the poll’s results, IRI’s Senior Director for Eurasia said that “Ukrainians have made clear their path to the future, first by regaining their occupied territories then rebuilding their communities and continued accession into Europe.

The survey was conducted by the Sociological Group “Rating” throughout Ukraine (except for the occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas) from 9-12 September 2023. The Sociological Group randomly asked 2,000 Ukrainians aged 18 and older through computer-assisted telephone interviews. As mentioned in the statement, the sample excludes any Ukrainians not currently in Ukraine.

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