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Ukrainians confident of victory over Russia, but differ on its definition, poll shows

According to a survey by the Razumkov Center, a majority of Ukrainians are optimistic about the outcome of the war with Russia, but only 20% think it will end by the end of this year, while 40% think it will take one or two more years.
Ukrainian flag: Ukraine is her people
Ukrainians confident of victory over Russia, but differ on its definition, poll shows

The majority of Ukrainians believe that Ukraine will repel the Russian invasion and win the war against Russia, according to a poll conducted by the Razumkov Center, a Ukrainian non-governmental polling organization and public policy think tank.

The sociological survey was conducted from 19 January to 25 January 2024. According to the poll, 84,8% of Ukrainians believe that Ukraine will win the war but are divided in their views on what is considered a victory over Russia.

Among those who believe in Ukraine’s victory, 38% of respondents said that the victory for Ukraine would be the expulsion of Russian troops from the entire territory of Ukraine and the complete restoration of the Ukrainian national borders as of January 2014, before Russia occupied Crimea, parts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.

Another 27% of respondents consider the destruction of the Russian army and the promotion of an uprising/disintegration within Russia to be a victory for Ukraine.

At the same time, 13% of respondents said that the victory for Ukraine would be the restoration of the territorial status quo as of 23 February 2022 (before the full-scale Russian invasion began), 7% of respondents would consider a victory the expulsion of Russian troops from the entire territory of Ukraine, except for the occupied Crimea (annexed by Russia in 2014), and 4% of respondents said that the victory for them would be the end of the hostilities on the territory of Ukraine, even if the Russian army remains in the territories that Russia occupied as a result of a full-scale invasion (after 24 February 2022).

In general, 84,8% of respondents believe in Ukraine’s victory in the war against Russia (78% of residents of the eastern part of the country and 88.5% of residents of the western part of the country), while 8.5% do not believe Ukraine can win this war (from 5.5% in the western part of the country to 13% in the east).

Razumkov Center
A survey by Razumkov Center.
Credit: razumkov.org.ua

Regarding the timing of the victory, among those who believe in the victory of Ukraine, 20% of respondents think it will occur by the end of this year (2024), while in February-March 2023, 50% of respondents believed that the victory would come by the end of 2023.

Another 40% of respondents believe that the victory will come in one or two years (in February-March 2023, 26% of respondents believed that the victory would come in one or two years).

According to the poll, 14% of respondents believe that it will take three years for Ukraine to win the war; 7% of respondents think that Ukraine will win in five years; 3% of respondents believe Ukraine will win in more than five years; 1% of respondents said that the Ukrainian victory is unlikely to happen in their lifetime.

There is also an increase in the number of those who do not know when to expect victory (22% of respondents).

Assessing their own psychological state as of 24 February 2022 (at the beginning of the war) on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 means “maximum level of calmness, confidence,” and 10 corresponds to the maximum level of panic, fear, and uncertainty, respondents rated it with an average of 7.0 points (49% rated it with points from 8 to 10, which corresponds to a high level of panic, fear, and uncertainty).

When assessing their own psychological state at the time of the survey (January 2024), respondents gave it an average score of 5.9. At the same time, the proportion of those who rated it from 8 to 10 decreased from 49% to 25% compared to the beginning of the full-scale invasion, which indicates a significant improvement in psychological state compared to the start of the all-out war. At the same time, this indicator is worse than in February-March 2023, when it averaged 5.1 points.

Ukrainian citizens are skeptical and pessimistic about the economic situation in Ukraine. In September-October 2022, seven months after the outbreak of the all-out war, the share of citizens who rated the economic situation as “very bad” or “rather bad” increased to 64.5%. These estimates improved in February-March 2023 when a decrease in negative assessments was recorded: 55% of respondents assessed the economic situation in Ukraine as “very bad” or “rather bad” (4% – as “good” or “very good,” 37% – as “neither bad nor good”). According to a survey conducted in December 2023, these assessments have deteriorated (66.5%, 3%, and 27%, respectively). However, in January 2024, they improved again (57%, 5%, and 34%, respectively) and became close to the levels observed in February-March 2023.

The survey was conducted from 19 January to 25 January 2024, face-to-face in 22 regions of Ukraine and Kyiv (in Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, and Kherson Oblasts, the survey was conducted only in the territories controlled by the government of Ukraine and not subject to hostilities). A total of 2,000 respondents aged 18 and older were interviewed. The theoretical sampling error does not exceed 2.3%.

The Razumkov Center conducted this survey using a stratified multi-stage sampling using random selection at the first stages of sampling and a quota method of selecting respondents at the final stage (when respondents were selected according to gender and age quotas). The structure of the sample population reflects the demographic structure of the adult population of the surveyed territories as of the beginning of 2022 (by age, gender, and type of settlement).

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