METHODOLOGY

The face-to-face survey was conducted by Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation in collaboration with Center for Political Sociology on June 5–15, 2023. 

In total, 2,001 respondents aged 18 or older took part in the survey in Vinnytsia, Volyn, Dnipropetrovsk, Zhytomyr, Zakarpattia, Zaporizhzhia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, Kirovohrad, Lviv, Mykolaiiv, Odesa, Poltava, Rivne, Sumy, Ternopil, Kharkiv, Kherson, Khmelnytskyi, Cherkasy, Chernihiv, and Chernivtsi regions, and the city of Kyiv (in Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, and Kherson regions – only in the territories controlled by Ukraine and not affected by hostilities).

The sampling technique used in the survey is multistage, involving a random selection of localities at the initial stages and a quota-based selection of respondents at the final stage. The random selection represents the demographic structure of the adult population in the territories covered by the survey as of the beginning of 2022. 

The maximum sample random error does not exceed 2.3%. 

At the same time, it is necessary to consider systematic deviations in the sample caused by the forced migration of millions of citizens due to the Russian-Ukrainian war.

MACROREGION COMPOSITION:

  • West – Volyn, Zakarpattia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Rivne, Ternopil, and Chernivtsi regions; 
  • Center – Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Kirovohrad, Poltava, Sumy, Khmelnytskyi, Cherkasy, and Chernihiv regions, and the city of Kyiv; 
  • South – Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiiv, Kherson, and Odesa regions; and 
  • East – Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv regions.
KEY FINDINGS
  • Reflecting on the future of their country, Ukrainians mostly feel hope (59%), anxiety (42%), and optimism (33%). During the full-scale war, optimism and hope for a better future for the country reached one of the highest levels since the Revolution of Dignity. At the same time, the increased negative emotions and lower optimism during June 2023 cause concerns, as the negative emotions about the country's future are related to the respondents' willingness to agree to a quick ending of the war at any price. The increase in the level of negative emotions could be attributed to the demolition of Kakhovka HPP, which took place during the survey, however, additional monitoring is needed to prove this hypothesis.
  • According to the polled Ukrainians, the main threats in the nearest future, both at the level of separate households and the state level, will be casualties as a result of hostilities, price increase for necessary goods, and loss of income.
  • Nevertheless, more than half of respondents (53%) are prepared to bear the consequences of the war for the sake of eventual victory. Around 30% of Ukrainians wish the war to end as soon as possible at any circumstances, yet only 8% of respondents are actually willing to make at least any compromises for a swift ending of the war.
  • According to the survey, part of the citizens want the war to end quickly due to the fear of grave losses, a belief that Russia possesses more resources than Ukraine, and doubts about the duration of support from the West.
  • Meanwhile, the absolute majority of Ukrainians (56%) believe that the West will support Ukraine for a long time. Furthermore, more than half of them are not willing to stop the armed defense if such military or economic support ceases.   
  • As of mid-June 2023, over three quarters of Ukrainians (77%) were positive about the victory of Ukraine, and another 16% rather believed in the victory. Thus, faith in the victory remains practically at the same level compared to August 2022. The high level of faith in the victory is based on the fact that citizens realize the grave threat of annihilation of the entire nation in case of a military defeat. The share of respondents who do not believe in the victory is insufficient to investigate the reasons for such despondency. 
  • Despite the common belief in the victory, the public opinion varies significantly when it comes to the timing. Thus, almost one third of respondents (31%) expect the victory by the end of 2023. Another third (32%) expect the victory in one to two years (by the end of 2025). About 13% of Ukrainians think that at least three to five years will pass until the victory. Over 22% of Ukrainians could not provide a definite viewpoint on the timeframe for achieving victory. It can be assumed that in the absence of notable achievements on the front line, Ukrainians may anticipate a prolonged war, whereas battlefield successes will, on the contrary, lead to an increase in the number of people who believe in an imminent victory. 
  • The absolute majority of respondents (53%) would rather agree to carry on the war if it is a prerequisite for victory, even despite the expected deterioration of the financial and security situation in the country in general and for their families in particular.
  • The majority of Ukrainians (68%) associate the victory with a complete defeat of Russia, leading either to the liberation of all the occupied territories (43%) or the collapse of Russia (26%). After the sixteen months of war, there is a more tangible trend towards a vaguer majority seeking to restore the 1991 borders and a rise in the share of individuals with radical beliefs, supporting the idea of expanding the hostilities into the Russian territory. 
  • 70% of Ukrainians consider it crucial for all the territories to be liberated from the enemy to call it a victory in the war. It proves that there are no prerequisites for the society to support any peace plans or initiatives that would mean territorial compromises with Russia. Important victory factors include bringing back all Ukrainian captives and deported individuals (60%) and prosecuting Russian military criminals (51%). Saving fellow citizens and punishment of those responsible for killings and tortures are vital in fostering the unity and resilience of the Ukrainian nation amid the war.   
  • Ukrainians (55%) think that the high current and future death toll during the war will demand the restoration of peace on the terms determined by Ukraine. Only 15% of citizens share the opinion that significant losses are the ground for initiating negotiations to end the war.
  • For more than a half of respondents (51%), the only possible scenario is the war waged until the final victory, without any compromises or concessions. Although the Ukrainians are sensitive to the growth in the number of victims, the majority are still prepared for this or other adverse scenarios, willing to keep waging the war, and not to agree to peace talks with Russia. 
  • The support of the so-called “peace at any price” remains quite low (6%). The respondents who support any compromises to stop the war feel despondent about the country's ability to improve the situation if the war goes on.
  • The majority of respondents (58%) claim they will support the principles and terms of ending the war declared by the President of Ukraine. It manifests a trend toward stronger trust in the President of Ukraine during the full-scale war. This trend will foster the social stability and unity of the society and the higher military and political authorities in withstanding the aggressor to reach peace on the terms acceptable for Ukraine. 
  • A mere 10% of Ukrainians believe that even now it is possible to engage in negotiations with Russia to bring an end to the war. People who share this idea are more inclined to make compromises with the aggressor. Although the absolute majority are still not willing to abandon the territories to the aggressor, the refusal of Ukraine to join NATO may be an acceptable compromise for this group.
  • When it comes to the South macroregion, which is distinguished among the others by its willingness to negotiate with the aggressor, there is a certain age-related trend: as the respondents' age increases, there is a tangible increase in the share of those “ready to negotiate even now.” 
  • The idea of territorial concessions is not popular and is supported by only a small minority of Ukrainians (6%). On average, no macroregion revealed a dominant share of those supporting territorial compromises compared to others. The factor of loss sensitivity does not radically increase the willingness of people to make territorial compromises with the aggressor. 
  • Only about 14% of respondents are prepared for compromises in the form of abandoning the accession to NATO or the EU. The residents of the South macroregion are distinguished by their higher willingness to abandon the accession of Ukraine to NATO or the EU. However, one should keep in mind that this stance is rather attributable to the senior citizens in these regions. Such factors as “war fatigue” or sensitivity to losses do not radically impact the willingness to pivot from Ukraine’s accession to NATO or the EU. 
  • Ukrainians show they are not willing to compromise with the aggressor. Coupled with the trust in the President and his “peace plan” principles, this signifies the cohesion and determination of both the society and military political authorities to persist in the war until peace is attained on Ukraine's terms. 
  • On the other hand, the offers of external political actors to negotiate with the aggressor on unfavorable terms will be supported by neither the society nor the military and political authorities of Ukraine. If Ukraine is forced to unfavorable peace by reducing financial/military support, it is most likely that the military and political authorities of Ukraine will maintain the current policy of securing national sovereignty, which will find a wider support among the citizens. So, the most rational approach for the partners would be to continue supporting Ukraine to defeat Russia. 
  • 54% of Ukraine's population choose accession to NATO among the possible security guarantees for the country. The support of alternatives is as follows: strategic defense cooperation treaties with several NATO members (16%), neutral status secured by international guarantees of Ukraine’s sovereignty (10%), and relying solely on one’s own efforts and military industry without any international guarantees (8%). About 12% of respondents could not provide a definitive answer. It can be asserted that accession to NATO is appealing to Ukrainians primarily as a means of protection against the Russian aggression.
  • Among the respondents, 72% of Ukrainians who do not choose accession to NATO as the best option to guarantee security for Ukraine are not willing to abandon the idea of joining NATO as a compromise with Russia. 
  • The absolute majority of Ukrainians (78%) share the idea that all Russians are accountable for the aggression against Ukraine. The percentage of citizens who disagree with this statement is the highest in the southern regions (30%). They say that Russian is their native language (37%) or their everyday language (32%). Since the research has not revealed any connections between the age of such respondents and their attitude towards Russians, one may claim that positive feelings towards Russians are formed by Russian-speaking information sources, Russian-speaking experts and commentators in Ukrainian media space. 
  • The majority of Ukrainians (57%) want to punish everyone who was directly involved in planning, approving, arranging, and committing the war crimes. Even now, there is a significant share of citizens (36%) who have the most radical approach to punishing Russia: they want to prosecute each and every Russian.   
  • Despite the massive and merciless war crimes committed by Russians, the majority of Ukrainians (68%) think that the prosecution and punishment of the criminals should be subject to the national and international laws. At the same time, a quarter (25%) of respondents are positive that criminals like these should be punished out of court. 
  • Almost 16% of the polled Ukrainians all over the country said they had witnessed war crimes committed by Russians, and another 5% said they might have witnessed such actions. At the same time, only half (50%) of the self-proclaimed witnesses are willing to act as witnesses during the investigations and international court proceedings. One may assume that such a low level of readiness to cooperate with judicial authorities stems from the unwillingness to constantly reminisce about these crimes and the uncertainty that this sacrifice will help punish the criminals.
  • Ukrainians (95%) expect that the state will insist on Russia compensating for the losses caused during the war, yet less than half of respondents (40%) believe that reparations will actually be paid.
  • The absolute majority of Ukrainians (89%) would like to live in Ukraine in the future. It is crucial to ensure that citizens who intend to stay in Ukraine in the future are not motivated to change their plans.
  • Regarding the state's priorities for post-war recovery, the expectations of citizens are quite foreseeable: economic revival, restoration of the power sector and other civil infrastructure, housing renovation, and security guarantees for the population. One of the priorities that deserves attention and can impact citizens' motivation to build their future in Ukraine is suppressing government corruption, which was mentioned by respondents most frequently. Over the last several months, corruption scandals have increasingly come to light. Amid the full-scale war, it may adversely impact the unity of the Ukrainian society and the country’s military and political authorities in fighting the aggressor, which will definitely not cater to the demands of the civil society for suppressing government corruption. As unmet expectations build up, there is a risk that over time, citizens may wish to pursue their future outside Ukraine.

RESEARCH FINDINGS

PERCEPTION OF THE WAR BY THE SOCIETY

The key emotions of Ukrainians thinking about the country's future are hope (59%), anxiety (42%), and optimism (33%). Compared to December 2022, there has been an increase in the population's susceptibility to negative emotions such as anxiety (+18%), fear (+14%), and confusion (+10%), while the share of citizens who are optimistic about the future of Ukraine has declined (-7%).

Starting from the survey conducted in August through December 2022, fear and anxiety among the population exhibited a tendency to decrease. A sharp prevalence of these emotions during June 2023 along with heightened confusion and lower optimism may stem from the population's emotional outburst after the demolition of Kakhovka HPP on June 6. So, over time, the spreading of negative forecasts regarding Ukraine's future is expected to decline.  

Compared to men, women more frequently reported fear (+16%), anxiety (+12%), and confusion (+9%). The lesser popularity of negative scenarios for Ukraine's future among men is a positive factor in terms of mobilization to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. At the same time, it should be taken into account that men might have deliberately avoided sharing their negative emotions during the survey, fearing that it could affect their masculinity image in front of the interviewer.  

Economically active population aged 18 to 59 are more optimistic (+7%) and confident (+7%) in the country's future compared to senior citizens. 

What are your feelings regarding the future of Ukraine (%; multiple choice)

 

June 2023

December 2022

August 2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2015

Optimism

33.1

39.5

40.1

27.9

31.2

37.9

28.1

31.1

19

Indifference

0.9

1.1

0.6

3.9

4.3

3.2

3.6

4.4

3

Joy

5.0

4.6

4.9

2.1

4.2

6.6

5

5.5

1

Despair

6.8

3.7

4.2

12.2

13.6

5.9

8.6

9.7

17

Confidence

24.2

26.5

23.6

7.5

7.6

18.2

11.8

11.9

5

Confusion

17.7

8.0

9.4

20.3

18.4

12.6

14.1

17.4

18

Satisfaction

1.9

3.1

2.2

1.2

1.6

2.9

2.2

2.2

1

Pessimism

3.4

3.7

3

9.4

8.2

5.5

5.3

6

9

Hope

58.8

60.3

65.5

42.5

43.1

55.8

51.8

51

39

Anxiety

42.0

24.1

31.4

33.7

27.7

25.8

32.7

28.2

39

Interest

13.7

11.2

14.4

12.7

9

12.6

9.3

12.2

5

Fear

22.7

9.1

13.1

13.5

8.6

7.8

8.3

11.5

15

Other

1.5

0.8

0.9

0.8

0.7

1.1

1.6

1.2

1

Hard to tell

2.2

4.3

2.1

2.8

3.2

4.3

4.8

4.6

1

The respondents feeling despair, confusion, and fear about Ukraine's future are more likely to support a quick end of the war at any price compared to the respondents feeling other emotions. Thus, the psychoemotional state of the population is an important variable in assessing the willingness of citizens to support the continuation of the war. 

Which of the two following statements do you support more? (%; broken down by feelings about Ukraine's future)

 

Optimism

Joy

Despair

Confidence

Confusion

Hope

Anxiety

Interest

I would like the war to end in the nearest future at any price

22.3

13.9

59.1

24.7

44.2

29.2

37.9

18.9

I would accept the continuation of the war if it is a prerequisite for victory

64.4

68.3

25.5

62.7

33.2

56.9

46.0

67.3

Hard to tell 

13.3

17.8

15.3

12.6

22.5

13.9

16.1

13.8

The majority of Ukrainians expect massive shelling of Ukrainian cities (60%), power, heating, or water supply cuts (45%), and an increase in prices for necessary goods (40%) in the months to come. Other possible security threats according to the Ukrainians are government corruption (34%) and a new attack of the Russian forces (30%). Almost a quarter of respondents expect an environmental deterioration and use of nuclear weapons by Russia in the nearest future. At the same time, the cessation of military and economic support from the West is considered probable by only 15% and 11% of respondents, respectively.     

What security threats do you personally find most relevant in the months to come? (%, up to 5 options)

Power, heating, or water supply cuts due to Russian shelling

44.9

Deficit of food, medicine, and other essentials

20.9

Environmental pollution

24.0

Increased political opposition within the country

15.1

Cyberattacks, cuts in internet connection

10.6

Government corruption

33.7

New attacks by the Russian forces

30.4

Massive shelling of Ukrainian cities

60.2

Spreading of dangerous diseases and epidemics

19.3

Discontinuation of economic support from the West

10.6

Discontinuation of military support from the West

14.9

Attempts by the authorities to limit the rights and liberties of citizens

12.8

A sharp increase in prices for necessary goods

40.1

Use of nuclear weapons by Russia

23.7

Other

1.3

Hard to tell

4.2

Compared to better-to-do respondents, the financially vulnerable strata of population find the deficit of necessary goods (+19%) and a sharp increase in prices for such goods (+11%) to be a more relevant threat. 

The perception of three main security threats is common throughout the country, regardless of the respondent's macroregion. Furthermore, Ukrainians residing in the western and central regions perceive corruption and a potential new attack of the Russian troops as more pressing issues. In the east of Ukraine, citizens are more concerned with the use of nuclear weapons and environmental pollution. In the southern regions, citizens have serious concerns about the spread of diseases or epidemics, which can also be attributed to the flood following the demolition of Kakhovka HPP.  

As to the pressing challenges at a microlevel, the respondents equally often mentioned material and financial threats, as well as threats to their life and health. According to almost half of the Ukrainians surveyed (45 %), in the nearest future, their families may face a serious health deterioration or even death due to the hostilities. About 33% of Ukrainians fear that they may lose their income. Among other problems that are a matter of concern for about one quarter of the citizens are separation from the family and mobilization of a family member. 

What issues are and will be topical for your family in the nearest future? (%; multiple choice)

Loss of income

32.7

Loss of access to housing

9.5

Loss of work/business

18.4

Hunger

11.2

Life threat due to the hostilities

45.4

Increased crime rates

8.4

Mobilization of a family member

24.6

Unavailability of high-quality or proper treatment or medical aid

18.5

Unemployment

17.0

Poor environment state (air and water pollution) in the place of living

20.5

Worse working conditions

11.7

Separation from the family

26.5

Other

4.3

None of the above

4.0

Hard to tell / Refuse to tell

6.9

The citizens depending on social benefits are less concerned about a potential loss of income compared to others. At the same time, they find the threat of hunger, unavailability of treatment and medical aid to be more relevant. 

In general, about 10% of Ukrainians are currently below the poverty line. The majority (41%) only have enough money to satisfy the basic survival needs. The situation has not changed compared to December 2022. At that, the unemployed Ukrainians who cannot find a job because of age or health conditions are in the most difficult position. Among such respondents, 21% live below the poverty line compared to 12% of the unemployed and 4% of the working population. At the same time, more than half (52%) of the poorest group of citizens cannot find a job because of age or health conditions.

How would you describe your current financial status? (%)

I can barely make ends meet, I lack money even for basic products

9.5

I have enough money for food and inexpensive necessities

40.7

In general, I have enough money for life, yet it is insufficient to buy long-term commodities, such as furniture, a fridge, or a TV set

38.8

I am well-to-do, but I cannot afford some major purchases for now (like an apartment, a car, etc.)

9.4

In financial terms, I can afford almost anything

0.6

Hard to tell

1.1

Despite the expectations of Ukrainians about the deterioration of the financial and security situation in the country in general and for their families in particular, the absolute majority of the country’s population (53%) are would agree to continue the war if it is a prerequisite to victory. 30% of citizens, on the contrary, want to end the hostilities as soon as possible “whatever it takes.” 16% of respondents could not provide a definite answer to this question.

Which of the following suggestions would you rather agree with? (%)

I would like the war to end in the nearest future at any price

30.4

I would accept the continuation of the war if it is a prerequisite for victory

53.4

Hard to tell

16.2

 

Among the respondents who allegedly will do anything to stop the war, only 23% supported the idea of stopping the war under the condition that part of Ukrainian territories remains occupied. Among the respondents feeling fatigued from the war, 13% would agree to acknowledge the occupied territories of Ukraine as part of the Russian Federation in exchange for stopping the aggression. Refusal to join the EU and NATO is acceptable for 28% and 27% of the respondents wishing the war to end as soon as possible. Thus, a maximum of 8%, not 30% of Ukrainians, are actually willing to make at least any compromises to end the war.

Imagine that Russia sets a number of conditions for Ukraine in exchange for ceasing the aggression. Please indicate to what extent the following conditions are acceptable to you personally (%; broken down by the level of willingness to continue the war)

 

I would like the war to end in the nearest future at any price

I would accept the continuation of the war if it is a prerequisite for victory

Refusal to join the European Union is acceptable

27.7

5.8

Refusal to join the European Union is unacceptable

56.9

86.1

Hard to tell 

15.3

8.1

A share of respondents wishing the war to end as soon as possible is to a certain degree caused by the fear of the country incurring more damage compared to the previous period of war. Thus, 42% of the Ukrainians who wish the war to end quickly believe that the longer the war lasts, the smaller the chances it will end on Ukraine's terms. 59% of respondents agree that the end of the war is more important than high-risk continuation of the hostilities for the best conditions for our country.

Moreover, these respondents are more likely to consider Russia to be a stronger state compared to Ukraine and have more doubts about the lasting support from the West. 56% of them agreed that it would be hard for Ukraine to gain a complete victory as Russia has more economic and human resources. 42% think that the West will not support Ukraine for a long time.

The Ukrainians below the poverty line are less patient regarding the duration of the war compared to the better-off citizens: 43% of the former agree to continue the war if it is a prerequisite to victory compared to 70% of financially stable population. 

Continuing the war for the sake of victory is a priority for the majority of Ukrainians, whether from the central, southern, or eastern regions of the country. However, the share of residents of the South macroregion who lived there before February 24 and wishing the war to end quickly whatever it takes is a bit higher (40%) compared to the country’s average.

Which of the following statements would you rather agree with? (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

West

Center

South

East

I would like the war to end in the nearest future at any price

26.0

26.0

39.7

32.0

I would accept the continuation of the war if it is a prerequisite for victory

49.9

59.2

49.0

52.6

Hard to tell 

24.1

14.8

11.4

15.4

The absolute majority of citizens believe in Ukraine’s ability to wage the war. 77% of Ukrainians are positive that the country can withstand even a long war with Russia. Only 11% do not support this statement.

The majority (52%) of those who do not believe Ukraine is able to resist Russia in the long run agree that certain compromises can be made for the sake of peace. At the same time, the majority of these respondents (62%) do not support the acknowledgement of the occupied territories as part of Russia. Instead, there is a notable inclination among them to renounce NATO or EU membership: 50% of the Ukrainians who do not believe in the country's ability to resist Russia would forgo joining NATO in order to put an end to the aggression. 45% would renounce the EU membership, and 46% are ready to abandon the prospect of European integration.  

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements: Ukraine can withstand even a long-term war with Russia? (%)

I agree

46.7

I rather agree

30.2

I rather disagree

7.2

I disagree

3.5

Hard to tell

12.3

Almost half of respondents (43%) are aware that a complete victory will be very hard to achieve, considering that Russia has more economic and human resources. About the same portion (46%) of Ukrainians do not agree with this opinion. 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: It would be hard for Ukraine to gain a complete victory as Russia has more economic and human resources? (%)

I agree

14.3

I rather agree

28.4

I rather disagree

21.8

I disagree

24.2

Hard to tell

11.4

At the same time, 56% of citizens believe in the lasting support of Ukraine by the West, which partially levels the effect of Russia's resource might in the minds of Ukrainians. 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements: The West will NOT support Ukraine for a long time? (%)

I agree

9.6

I rather agree

15.9

I rather disagree

25.6

I disagree

30.0

Hard to tell

18.7

The Ukrainians who assume that the support of Ukraine by the West will not last long do not have a unified view of what the country should do in such a situation. A quarter of them think that if the military aid ceases, the authorities must wage the war no matter what. Almost the same portion believes that the conflict should be frozen (28%) or that we should initiate negotiations with Russia on ending the war (27%). The respondents are equally split when it comes to potential scenarios of the government's actions in case western economic aid comes to a halt.  

On the contrary, the majority of Ukrainians believing that the support from the West will be lasting (54% on average) think that if the military or economic support ceases, the Ukrainian authorities need to continue the war using their own resources. 

VICTORY TIME FRAMES AND CONDITIONS

As of mid-June 2023, over three quarters of Ukrainians (77%) were positive about the victory of Ukraine, and 16% rather believed in the victory. Thus, the faith of Ukraine in the victory has remained nearly unchanged since August 2022 when the Democratic Initiatives Foundation began monitoring the sentiments of the Ukrainian society on this matter.

High level of faith in the victory is based on the fact that citizens realize the grave threat of annihilation of the entire nation in case of a military defeat. The share of respondents who do not believe in the victory is insufficient to investigate the reasons for such despondency.

It should be noted that the lowest level of absolute faith in the victory (64%) is revealed by the respondents who lived in the South macroregion before the war. The highest level (≈ 83%) is observed in the Center and East macroregions. 

Do you believe in Ukraine's victory in the war against the Russian Federation? (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

West

Center

South

East

Yes

73.1

83.6

63.8

82.4

Rather yes

18.8

11.9

23.1

11.1

Rather no

2.1

2.2

5.9

2.3

No

0.7

0.4

1.7

2.0

Hard to tell

5.3

2

5.5

2.3

Another important observation: the majority of those who do not believe in victory do not work due to age, health conditions, or for other reasons. In the same way, there is a certain connection between the low level of faith in the victory and referring to Russian as a native language. There are almost 10% of such individuals among Russian native speakers, with only 2.5% of them among Ukrainian native speakers.

Despite the common belief in the victory, the public opinion varies significantly when it comes to the timing. Thus, almost one third of respondents (31%) expect the victory by the end of 2023. Another third (32%) expect the victory in one to two years (by the end of 2025). About 13% of Ukrainians think that at least three to five years will pass until the victory. Over 22% of Ukrainians could not provide a definite viewpoint on the timeframe for achieving victory.

Generalizing the observations since August 2022, it can be concluded that in the absence of significant positive advances on the front line, the majority of Ukrainians are likely to assume that the war will last longer than a year. While battlefield success, on the contrary, facilitates the general belief in swift victory.

As of June 2023, after six months of fierce Donbas battles (December 2022 to May 2023), the citizens' perspective is almost identical to that of August 2022.  

When do you think Ukraine will win? (%)

 

June 2023

August 2022

By the end of this year

30.6

31.2

In one or two years

31.8

34.3

In three to five years

11.5

7.1

No earlier than in five years

1.9

2.1

In more than five years

1.5

1.7

Hard to tell

22.5

23.1

There are also certain patterns in the perception of the proximity or remoteness of the victory:

  • Women are more inclined than men to expect a “swift victory” and are less prepared for a prolonged war;
  • The majority of citizens expecting the victory by the end of the year live in the Center and East macroregions (36% on average).

When do you think Ukraine will win? (%; broken down by sex)

 

Men

Women

By the end of this year

26.6

34.3

In one or two years

35.3

28.8

In three to five years

12.9

10.4

No earlier than in five years

2.2

1.7

In more than five years

2.4

0.7

Hard to tell

20.6

24.3

 

When do you think the victory will happen (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

West

Center

South

East

By the end of this year

18.2

36.7

26.2

36.1

In one or two years

31.1

32.1

37.7

27.2

In three to five years

25.5

7.6

8.7

10.8

No earlier than in five years

4

0.9

2

1.9

In more than five years

3.5

1

0.4

1.3

Hard to tell

20.7

21.7

25

22.6

The absolute majority of Ukrainians (68%) associate the victory with a complete defeat of Russia, leading either to the liberation of all the occupied territories (43%) or the collapse of Russia (26%). The most resolute in this respect are the residents of the Center (75%) and East (69%) macroregions.

After the sixteen months of war, two different trends can be distinguished:

First, there are now more people who think that victory demands a complete defeat of the Russian army and collapse of Russia. While in August 2022, one out of five individuals (20%) wanted this, in June 2023, every forth survey participant (26%) opts for it.

Second, the inclination of a portion of the population to engage in compromises with the enemy remains evident. In general, about 20% of respondents think that victory is possible even if Russia manages to keep part of the occupied territories. 

The largest number of people ready to give up territories live in the South macroregion. Notably, in the west region, the number of respondents finding it acceptable to give up the Crimea and separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (23%) prevails over those considering the collapse of Russia to be the victory (16%). It is understandable that the internally displaced persons from Donbas are unlikely to consider a situation where their home districts remain occupied as a victory.

It can be assumed that a lengthy war would form a more tangible trend towards a vaguer majority seeking to restore the 1991 borders and a rise in the share of individuals with radical beliefs, supporting the idea of expanding the hostilities into the territory of Russia.

According to the research, citizens are likely to agree to certain compromises with Russia to save the lives of the military and the civilians and to save people remaining in the occupied territories. If there are no signs of Russia being truly for the peace talks, part of Ukrainians who are willing to compromise now would change their approach towards a more radical one. Also, the results of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' operations in summer and autumn will play a significant role.

What scenario do you personally see as a victory in the war? (%; one option) 

 

June 2023

February 2022

December 2022

August 2022

Termination of the hostilities, even if the Russian army keeps the territories which are currently occupied (Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, Donbas, and the Crimea)

2.5

4.6

3.3

3.1

Pushing the Russian troops back behind the line of February 23, 2022 (with the Crimea and separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions remaining occupied)

10.2

4.6

6.2

7.4

Pushing the Russian troops back behind the state border, including Donbas (with the Crimea remaining occupied)

7.4

4.4

8.0

8.7

Pushing the Russian troops back from Ukraine in all directions and restoring the borders of January 2014

42.5

46.9

54.1

54.7

Annihilation of the Russian army and fostering mutiny/collapse within Russia

25.5

30.8

22.4

20.4

Other

3.9

1.0

0.3

0.4

Hard to tell

8.0

7.6

5.6

5.3

 

What scenario do you personally see as a victory in the war? (%; one option; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022) 

 

West

Center

South

East

Termination of the hostilities, even if the Russian army keeps the territories which are currently occupied (Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, Donbas, and the Crimea)

2.0

2.6

3.2

2.7

Pushing the Russian troops back behind the line of February 23, 2022 (with the Crimea and separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions remaining occupied)

11.9

6.2

15.9

12.1

Pushing the Russian troops back behind the state border, including Donbas (with the Crimea remaining occupied)

11.1

4.4

9.5

8.4

Pushing the Russian troops back from Ukraine in all directions and restoring the borders of January 2014

41.9

43.5

34.5

45.3

Annihilation of the Russian army and fostering mutiny/collapse within Russia

16.2

31.6

24.2

24.0

Other

0.3

6.2

4.8

3.2

Hard to tell

16.7

5.8

7.9

4.3

70% of Ukrainians consider it crucial for all the territories to be liberated from the enemy to call it a victory in the war. It proves that there are no prerequisites for the society to support any peace plans or initiatives that would mean territorial compromises with Russia.

Important victory factors include bringing back all Ukrainian captives and deported individuals (60%) and prosecuting Russian military criminals (51%).  Thus, one may claim that saving our fellow citizens and punishing those related to killings and tortures are vital in fostering the unity and resilience of the Ukrainian nation amid the war.

Military defeat over the Russian army (38%) or dethroning Putin (34%) have a lower priority. However, it means that up to 40% of Ukrainians can under certain conditions change their attitude to the demands in the war with Russia to a more radical stance.

Please select the options from the list below that would personally convince you of Ukraine's victory (%; multiple choice)

Liberation of the Ukrainian territories to the borders of 1991

69.7

Bringing back all Ukrainian captives and deported citizens

60.2

Annihilation of the Russian army

36.7

Dethroning Putin

34.3

Collapse of Russia or the beginning of a civil war in Russia

26.7

Signing a peace treaty on ending the war

26.6

Punishing Russian military criminals

51.3

Other

1.9

Hard to tell

4.7

Considering the resilience of Ukrainians in confronting various adverse factors that may impact the ability to wage a prolonged war with the aggressor, the survey leads to the following conclusions:

  • The absolute majority of Ukrainians are unlikely to stop fighting and will not support the ending of the war if the Ukrainian territories remain occupied. Specifically, 65% of respondents agreed with the statement that the cessation of hostilities and final end to the war is NOT acceptable if part of Ukrainian territories remains occupied. Only 10% of respondents supported the opposite statement.
  • In this regard, residents of the central regions hold the most rigid stance (75%), while residents of the western regions are the most vulnerable (46%).
  • More than half of Ukrainians (55%) think that high current and future death toll during the war will demand the restoration of peace on Ukraine's terms. Only 15% of citizens share the opinion that significant losses are the ground for initiating negotiations to end the war.
  • The strictest stance is held by the residents of the central (63%) and eastern (58%) regions. The largest number of citizens sensitive to losses and inclined to yield to pressure for engaging in negotiations with the enemy reside in the southern (26 %) and western (18%) regions. Notably, there are twice as many Russian-speaking respondents sensitive to this pressure (26%) than Ukrainian-speaking ones (13%).

Please choose one of the statements that best reflects your viewpoint (%) 

Cessation of the hostilities and final ending of the war is acceptable even if part of Ukrainian territories remains occupied

10.4

Cessation of the hostilities and final ending of the war is NOT acceptable if part of Ukrainian territories remains occupied

65.3

I disagree with both statements

10.3

Hard to tell

14.0

Please select one of the statements that best reflects your viewpoint (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022) 

 

West

Center

South

East

Cessation of the hostilities and final ending of the war is acceptable even if part of Ukrainian territories remains occupied

13.3

7.0

20.3

6.8

Cessation of the hostilities and final ending of the war is NOT acceptable if part of Ukrainian territories remains occupied

45.6

73.9

61.4

71.5

I disagree with both statements

18.4

7.9

9.0

10.6

Hard to tell

22.8

12.2

9.3

11.1

Please choose one of the statements that best reflects your viewpoint (%) 

We have incurred great losses and can lose even more lives, so we should engage in negotiations on ending the war

14.8

We have already incurred great losses, so peace other than on our terms is unacceptable 

54.7

I disagree with both statements

11.8

Hard to tell

18.7

Please select one of the statements that best reflects your viewpoint (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

West

Center

South

East

We have incurred great losses and can lose even more lives, so we should engage in negotiations on ending the war

18.1

8.0

26.0

14.9

We have already incurred great losses, so peace other than on our terms is unacceptable

43.3

63.1

47.8

58.0

I disagree with both statements

14.7

10.2

12.8

9.6

Hard to tell

24.0

18.6

13.5

17.5

CONCEPT OF PEACE

For the majority of the respondents, peace means ending the Russian-Ukrainian war and the cessation of the hostilities.The respondents who specified their vision of peace in their answers mentioned regaining control over the territory and the military victory more often than the safety and protection of people lives. 

Often, the concept of peace for the respondents was linked to emotions and feelings. The respondents frequently mentioned the feeling of safety and calmness, less frequently referred to happiness, as well as freedom, will, and independence – the important symbols of the Ukrainian state. 

In addition to the idea of "peace for," respondents constructed their perception through the concept of "peace from." 8% of answers contained a negative attitude towards Russia. Most of these statements referred to the Russian nation, not to the state authorities.

What is your personal definition of “peace” in the context of the Russian-Ukrainian war? (open question; multiple choice; n = 1,692)

 

Frequency of mentions

Percentage

Ending the war

430

22.5

Regaining control over the territory 

413

21.6

Victory

257

13.4

Safety

152

7.9

Calmness

126

6.6

Collapse or annihilation of Russia

125

6.5

Absence of any aggression

74

3.9

Reunification of families

57

3.0

Signing a peace treaty

44

2.3

Accession to NATO

41

2.1

Happiness 

25

1.3

Reconciliation with Russia

25

1.3

Punishing the aggressor 

25

1.3

Freedom

20

1.0

Reforms and restoration of the country

17

0.9

Will

17

0.9

Dethroning Volodymyr Putin

16

0.8

Confidence in the future

16

0.8

Independence

8

0.4

Opening of the borders

4

0.2

Isolation from Russia

3

0.2

Other

18

0.9

Total

1,913

100

WILLINGNESS TO MAKE COMPROMISES FOR THE SAKE OF PEACE

Only 6% of the country’s population are willing to make any compromises with the enemy. 36% of Ukrainians would agree to some compromises, while 51% believe that the war may only end in case of victory.

Since the beginning of 2023, there has been a growth in the number of citizens (from 18% in December 2022 to 36% in June 2023) who would accept certain compromises with the enemy. However, such willingness to agree to certain compromises during the negotiations is related neither to the territories nor to the limitation of Ukraine’s course for accession to the EU and NATO.

Please choose one of the statements that best reflects your viewpoint (%; one option)

 

June 2023

March 2023

February 2023

December 2022

August 2022

Any compromises are worth for the sake of peace

5.7

5.7

1.7

7.8

4.5

Compromises can be made, but not all

36.2

23.1

21.4

18.1

17.1

The war may end only with victory

51.3

63.8

74.6

61.8

66.0

Hard to tell / Refuse to tell 

6.9

7.3

2.2

12.3

12.4

The highest number of supporters of “peace at any cost” live in the South – 10% of respondents. In the West and the East of Ukraine, the percentage of people who have faith in achieving peace only through Ukraine's victory is relatively lower, amounting to 36% in both regions. At the same time, the idea of accepting only certain compromises for peace with Russia prevails in both macroregions.

Please select one of the statements that best reflects your viewpoint (%; one option; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022) 

 

West

Center

South

East

Any compromises are worth for the sake of peace

6.7

3.4

10.0

6.3

Compromises can be made for the sake of peace, but not all

44.3

26.3

51.0

34.3

The war may end only with victory

36.4

63.3

35.5

55.8

Hard to tell 

12.5

7.0

3.4

3.5

After the displacement of a part of population from the eastern regions, a share of the residents of the southern macroregions ready to make compromises for peace has not changed.

The level of support of partial compromises is higher in the South as compared to other macroregions, currently reaching over 52% among the remaining residents of the region. In general, currently, 63% of the population in the South are supporters of peace talks, while the figure stood at 61% among all the residents of the macroregion before the full-scale invasion. 

It should be noted that a large part of the macroregion is still occupied. For instance, part of the territories of the Center were also occupied, but its residents demonstrate more unity in abstaining from compromises (63%). The fact that the indicator is twice as low in the South may be explained by the longer duration of hostilities in this region. 

When it comes to age distribution, there is no statistically relevant difference in the respondents' attitude to compromises with Russia in exchange for peace.

14% of supporters of “peace at any price” would not agree to a peace treaty with Russia guaranteeing a lasting peace if some territories of Ukraine remain occupied. The majority of individuals who are willing to accept partial compromises only (51%) deem it unacceptable to leave part of Ukraine's territories occupied in exchange for lasting peace and protection of Ukraine. 

Would you support a peace treaty guaranteeing lasting peace and protection of Ukraine from the Russian threat even if part of the territories remains occupied by Russia? (%; broken down by the level of willingness to compromise for the sake of ending the war)

 

Any compromises are worth for the sake of peace

Compromises can be made for the sake of peace, but not all

The war may end only with victory

Hard to tell

Yes

76.1

33.0

8.0

9.4

No

14.2

51.4

84.7

40.6

Hard to tell

9.7

15.7

7.3

50.0

The group of “peace at any price” contains a large share of respondents who have some doubts and do not have a clear stance on the conditions for peace talks. 

 

If the economic conditions in the country keep deteriorating, 46 % of the population are ready to wage the war on no matter what. Only 12% of respondents see it as an incentive to demand the authorities to initiate peace talks with Russia. 

What do you think the political and military leaders of Ukraine should do if... the economic situation in the country starts to deteriorate quickly? (%; one option)

Continue the war no matter what

46.2

Try to freeze the conflict without making compromises with Russia

18.9

Start negotiations with Russia to stop the war

11.5

Hard to tell

23.3

The most sensitive issue for citizens is the increase in human losses. In the event of a rapid increase in the number of casualties among civilians and military personnel, Ukrainians may lean more towards considering a specific option for ending the war. Specifically, the share of those willing to start negotiations with Russia may reach 18%.

What do you think the political and military leaders of Ukraine should do if... there is a sharp growth in death toll among both the Ukrainian military personnel and civilians? (%; one option)

Continue the war no matter what

34.8

Try to freeze the conflict without making compromises with Russia

21.5

Start negotiations with Russia to stop the war

18.4

Hard to tell

25.2

In the event of an increase in human losses, approximately 24 % of respondents are willing to fight until victory and may agree to freeze the conflict or start peace talks with Russia. The majority (59%) of respondents oriented towards “peace at any price” would lean towards peace talks with Russia after an increase in casualties among civilians and military personnel. 

What do you think the political and military leaders of Ukraine should do if... there is a sharp growth in death toll among both the Ukrainian military personnel and civilians? (%; one option; broken down by the level of willingness to compromise to stop the war)

 

Any compromises are worth for the sake of peace

Compromises can be made for the sake of peace, but not all

The war may end only with victory

Hard to tell

Continue the war no matter what

12.4

17.9

52.7

10.1

Try to freeze the conflict without making compromises with Russia

20.4

31.4

15.8

13.8

Start negotiations with Russia to stop the war

59.3

28.1

7.9

12.3

Hard to tell 

8.0

22.6

23.7

63.8

If the front line situation does not change significantly, almost half of the country's population (49%) deems it necessary to continue the war. In this case, 12% of respondents are willing to initiate peace talks with Russia. 

What do you think the political and military leaders of Ukraine should do if... the front line situation does not change for better or worse within this year (%; one option)

Continue the war no matter what

49.4

Try to freeze the conflict without making compromises with Russia

15.3

Start negotiations with Russia to stop the war

12.4

Hard to tell

22.8

About one fourth of respondents were unable to determine which actions of the political and military leaders would be desirable in various adverse scenarios.   

Hypothetical adverse scenarios will help confirm the vulnerability of the positions of people who are willing to compromise with Russia. 

Thus, less than one third of supporters of “peace at any price” in each of the three proposed scenarios depicting a worsening situation in Ukraine would opt for the immediate initiation of peace talks with the aggressor.

Generally, only 6% of the country’s population are willing to make any compromises to end the war. At that, only a little more than half of them would actually agree to peace talks with Russia in case of deterioration of the economic situation, growth in the death toll, or inability to gain success in the front line. 

Among the supporters of partial compromises (36% of the population) in exchange for peace, less than one third are willing to initiate peace talks.

About half of Ukrainians (52%) willing to fight until victory are vulnerable to changing the stance towards freezing the conflict or engaging in negotiations with Russia if one of possible adverse scenarios becomes a reality. However, even in such circumstances, there is still a significant share of those willing to continue the war until victory. 

Skepticism about the ability of Ukraine to win the war is more prevalent among the supporters of “peace at any price,” yet the absolute majority (61%) are sure that the country can defeat Russia in the war. 

Do you believe in the victory of Ukraine in the war against the Russian Federation? (%; broken down by the attitude to compromises for the sake of peace)

 

Any compromises are worth for the sake of peace

Compromises can be made for the sake of peace, but not all

The war may end only with victory

Hard to tell

Yes

61.1

92.9

97.7

81.9

No

27.4

3.2

1.3

3.6

Hard to tell

11.5

3.9

1.1

14.5

More than half of Ukrainians (58%) think that the duration of the war will not have a negative impact on the negotiation positions of Ukraine. At the same time, the population living below the poverty line experiences a stronger disillusionment about the possibility of victory in the event of a protracted war. 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements: The longer the war lasts, the smaller the chances Ukraine will define the conditions for peace? (%; broken down by financial status)

 

Very poor

Poor

Relatively well-to-do

Well-to-do

I agree

29.3

26.8

22.7

20.3

I disagree

51.1

52.4

62.4

68.4

Hard to tell

19.7

20.8

14.9

11.2

Almost half of Ukrainians feel the dependence on the supplies of funds, weapons, and machines from the West. Thus, in case of reduction or termination of economic support from the West, 44% of Ukrainians believe the war should be continued whatever it takes, and 41% claim the same in case of cessation or reduction of military aid. 

The majority of supporters of “war until victory” (59%) are prepared to continue the war if the military aid from the West ceases. Among the proponents of “peace at any price”, 12% are willing to accept new realities and continue the war despite the loss of military aid. 

What do you think the political and military leaders of Ukraine should do if... the military aid from the western states declines or ceases? (%; one option; broken down by the attitude to compromises for the sake of peace)

 

Any compromises are worth for the sake of peace

Compromises can be made for the sake of peace, but not all

The war may end only with victory

Hard to tell

Continue the war no matter what

12.4

25.5

58.8

10.1

Try to freeze the conflict without making compromises with Russia

14.2

28.9

12.5

10.1

Start negotiations with Russia to stop the war

62.8

22.2

5.0

9.4

Hard to tell 

10.6

23.4

23.7

70.3

65% of respondents did not change their mind on the continuation of the war even if the economic aid from the West ceases. There are still 12% among the supporters of “peace at any price” who are willing to continue the war even without the economic support from the West.

What do you think the political and military leaders of Ukraine should do if... the economic aid from the Western states declines or ceases? (%; one option; broken down by the attitude to compromises for the sake of peace)

 

Any compromises are worth for the sake of peace

Compromises can be made for the sake of peace, but not all

The war may end only with victory

Hard to tell

Continue the war no matter what

11.5

26.5

64.6

15.2

Try to freeze the conflict without making compromises with Russia

17.7

29.4

10.5

13.8

Start negotiations with Russia to stop the war

59.3

18.3

3.7

6.5

Hard to tell 

11.5

25.9

21.1

64.5

The population of central regions demonstrated the strongest support for continuing the war, regardless of whether there is military or economic support from the West, with 47% and 51%, respectively. It should be noted that the Center is the only macroregion in the research where the hostilities took place and which was fully deoccupied by the Defense Forces of Ukraine.

What do you think the political and military leaders of Ukraine should do if ... the military aid from the western countries declines or ceases (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

West

Center

South

East

Continue the war no matter what

39.9

47.1

26.6

44.4

Try to freeze the conflict without making compromises with Russia

20.9

16.8

24.8

13.9

Start negotiations with Russia to stop the war

10.4

11.2

24.1

15.4

Hard to tell

28.8

24.9

24.5

26.3

There is no consensus among the Ukrainians as to whether the country’s accession to NATO can stop the war with Russia. 41% of respondents have doubts in this regard. At the same time, 40% are still likely to consider the accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a chance to end the war.  

The citizens who deem the demand of Russia not to join NATO generally agree (51%) that the war could end if Ukraine becomes a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements: The war may stop only if Ukraine joins NATO? (%; broken down by the level of willingness to forgo joining NATO as a compromise with Russia)

 

Completely acceptable

Rather acceptable

Rather unacceptable

Completely unacceptable

Hard to tell

I agree

17.9

25.7

45.1

50.6

20.6

I disagree

64.2

64.7

38.3

35.6

33.1

Hard to tell

17.9

9.6

16.6

13.8

46.3

The majority (44%) of proponents of "war until victory" believe that the accession to NATO is the key prerequisite to ending the war. At the same time, 61% of respondents willing to make any compromises for the sake of peace do not believe that NATO integration will stop the war, which may indicate a higher level of their disillusionment about the victory.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements: The war may stop only if Ukraine joins NATO? (%; broken down by the attitude to compromises for the sake of peace)

 

Any compromises are worth for the sake of peace

Compromises can be made for the sake of peace, but not all

The war may end only with victory

Hard to tell

I agree

29.2

43.1

44.0

23.2

I disagree

61.1

40.1

39.3

24.6

Hard to tell

9.7

16.8

16.7

52.2

More than 90% of respondents supporting “peace at any price” have a negative attitude towards continuing the war, even if it makes the positions of Ukraine firmer. Hence, the skepticism regarding NATO membership is driven not so much by the assessment of NATO's role as by disillusionment about the consequences of continuing the war with Russia.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements: The end of the war is now more important than high-risk continuation of the hostilities for the best conditions for our country? (%; broken down by the attitude to compromises for the sake of peace)

 

Any compromises are worth for the sake of peace

Compromises can be made for the sake of peace, but not all

The war may end only with victory

Hard to tell

I agree

90.3

47.6

14.4

13.0

I disagree

6.2

34.8

73.6

15.9

Hard to tell

3.5

17.6

12.0

71.0

Generally, there are 31% of Ukrainians supporting the immediate discontinuation of the hostilities, claiming that continuing the war is too risky. Disagreeing with this are 52% of the population, which equals the percentage of Ukrainians willing to continue the war until victory. 

 

The end of the war is now more important than high-risk continuation of the hostilities for the best conditions for our country (%)

I agree

11.9

I rather agree

18.7

I rather disagree

21.9

I disagree

29.9

Hard to tell

17.6

The majority of respondents (82%) supporting peace at any price are convinced that with the continuation of the war, the situation in Ukraine will only worsen. 

In contrast, 77% of respondents willing to fight until victory disagree with this statement.

Thus, the share of Ukrainians willing to make any compromises for the sake of peace is generally small and divided when it comes to supporting peace talks in case the situation in Ukraine deteriorates. At the same time, this group of respondents, even though they do not see NATO membership as a chance to end the war, considers Western support to be crucial in preventing the deterioration of Ukraine's position.

PEACE TALKS AND DIPLOMACY

The majority of the citizens in all regions claim they will support the principles and terms of ending the war declared by the President of Ukraine. A third of respondents admit being unfamiliar with the content of the “peace plan.” Generally, such results reflect a high level of trust in the President of Ukraine. Amid the full-scale war, trust in almost all government authorities involved in ensuring national security and defense has reached unprecedented levels. According to a survey conducted by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation in August 2022, the trust-distrust balance towards the President of Ukraine increased from a negative (-21%) to a positive +71% over the course of one year. 

Thus, it can be assumed that the actual level of unawareness about the terms of Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s “peace plan” may be even higher. However, overall, the society trusts the government, including its actions aimed at ending the war. This trend is favorable for maintaining social stability and unity of the society and the higher military and political leaders in confronting the aggressor. 

Do you support the formula of peace of Ukraine also known as the peace plan of Volodymyr Zelenskyi? (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

Ukraine

West

Center

South

East

I support it

58.1

52.0

60.4

60.3

58.2

I do not support it

2.4

3.2

2.2

2.1

2.0

I am not familiar with it

32.3

29.0

31.7

35.5

34.8

Hard to tell 

7.3

15.8

5.8

2.1

5.0

The idea of negotiations with Russia for a complete cessation of the war is rejected by 25% of Ukrainians. The rest of citizens find the negotiations with the aggressor possible, but there are differing views on the acceptable scope. 

What conditions do you think make the negotiations with Russia on ending the war possible? (%; one option; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

Ukraine

West

Center

South

East

Peace talks are possible even now

10.0

7.9

6.0

19.7

13.6

Peace talks with Russia are possible now, but only with the purpose to liberate captives and hostages 

18.3

24.1

13.9

27.6

14.4

Peace talks with Russia are possible only when all Ukrainian territories are liberated 

39.1

36.4

45.0

27.9

38.3

Peace talks with Russia are totally impossible

24.6

17.6

29.5

18.6

26.4

Hard to tell 

7.9

13.9

5.7

6.2

7.3

 

“Negotiations now” are acceptable for 28% of respondents, but this category includes two significantly distinct subgroups of respondents: 10% who are willing to discuss peace under the current status quo, and 18% who envision negotiations right now but solely for liberating captives and hostages, rather than ending the war altogether. However, upon closure examination, both groups seem to be more willing to make certain compromises with the aggressor.

Both groups, who consider negotiations possible at this moment, are more inclined to make concessions to the aggressor. Expectedly, the group of respondents who believe that negotiations are possible now is the most willing to make concessions, accounting for 10% across the country. About one third (29%) of respondents in this group are willing to make territorial concessions, which does not constitute a majority even among this category of respondents. This is evidently a result of the unpopularity of territorial concessions as an option in general. On the other hand, Ukraine’s refusal to join NATO appears to be a much more acceptable option for this group. However, 40% of the "negotiation now" group are still not willing to compromise on the prospects of Ukraine's accession to NATO.

Imagine that Russia sets a number of conditions for Ukraine in exchange for ceasing the aggression. Please indicate your personal attitude to the following conditions: Acknowledging the occupied territories of Ukraine as part of the Russian Federation (%; one option; broken down by the conditions under which negotiations are possible) 

 

Peace talks are possible even now

Peace talks with Russia are possible now, but only with the purpose to liberate captives and hostages

Peace talks with Russia are possible only when all Ukrainian territories are liberated

Peace talks with Russia are totally impossible

Hard to tell

Acceptable 

28.6

11.6

2.0

1.2

3.2

Unacceptable 

55.8

75.3

93.4

96.3

62.4

Hard to tell 

15.6

13.0

4.5

2.5

34.4 

Imagine that Russia sets a number of conditions for Ukraine in exchange for ceasing the aggression. Please indicate your personal attitude to the following conditions: Refusal to join NATO (%; one option; broken down by the conditions under which negotiations are possible) 

 

Peace talks are possible even now

Peace talks with Russia are possible now, but only with the purpose to liberate captives and hostages

Peace talks with Russia are possible only when all Ukrainian territories are liberated

Peace talks with Russia are totally impossible

Hard to tell

Acceptable 

49.7

22.4

8.2

3.7

12.1

Unacceptable 

39.7

61.5

81.5

87.3

39.5

Hard to tell 

10.6

16.1

10.3

9.0

48.4

As for the South macroregion distinguished from the others by its willingness to negotiate with the aggressor, the age dynamics within this macroregion are quite peculiar. Among the residents of the southern regions of Ukraine, there is a direct relation of age to the share of people “willing to negotiate even now.” 

What conditions do you think make the negotiations with Russia on ending the war possible? (%; one option; broken down by the age of respondents residing in the South macroregion before February 24, 2022)

 

18–29 years old

30–39 years old

40–49 years old

50–59 years old

60+ years old

Peace talks are possible even now

9.3

23.9

16.4

18.2

38.3

Peace talks with Russia are possible now, but only with the purpose to liberate captives and hostages 

28.0

26.1

32.8

34.5

12.8

Peace talks with Russia are possible only when all Ukrainian territories are liberated 

36.0

19.6

25.4

23.6

31.9

Peace talks with Russia are totally impossible

24.0

17.4

19.4

20.0

8.5

Hard to tell 

2.7

13.0

6.0

3.6

8.5

The South macroregion exhibited a similar dynamics in previous surveys, even before the full-scale invasion, regarding key questions about pro-Russian sentiments.  

What integration direction should Ukraine choose? (%; December 2021; broken down by the age of respondents residing in the South macroregion)

 

18–29 years old

30–39 years old

40–49 years old

50–59 years old

60+ years old

Accession to the European Union

50.0

40.4

34.9

29.3

25.0

Accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (together with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan)

9.5

6.4

7.0

12.2

5.9

Abstaining from any unions

26.2

42.6

51.2

43.9

51.5

Hard to tell

14.3

10.6

7.0

14.6

17.6

Please choose one of the two opposite interpretations of the events or actions of the state you agree with (%; December 2021; broken down by the age of respondents residing in the South macroregion)

 

18–29 years old

30–39 years old

40–49 years old

50–59 years old

60+ years old

The events at Maidan in late 2013–early 2014 were the Revolution of Dignity, a fair development

42.9

42.6

28.6

33.3

25.0

The events at Maidan in late 2013–early 2014 were an illegal coup d’état

28.6

38.3

45.2

40.5

50.0

Hard to tell / I don’t know / I do not agree with either of the options

28.6

19.1

26.2

26.2

25.0

In conclusion, regarding the attitudes towards the European future of Ukraine and the support of Russian propaganda, significant differences were observed among the residents of the South between the younger generation and the older generations. The younger generation in the South showed significantly higher pro-European views. It can be assumed that this trend is still relevant and is evident in the differing opinions of the younger and older generations of Ukrainians living in the South regarding the possibility of engaging in negotiations with the aggressor.

In general, the willingness to make territorial concessions is an unpopular option among the population, and in none of the regions does it prevail significantly compared to the national average. There turned out to be somewhat more people prepared for territorial compromises in the West macroregion. Generally, the regional dynamics of answers to this question reflect the regional nature of answers to the question on sensitivity to casualties.

Imagine that Russia sets a number of conditions for Ukraine in exchange for ceasing the aggression. Please indicate your personal attitude to the following conditions: Acknowledging the occupied territories of Ukraine as part of the Russian Federation (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

Ukraine

West

Center

South

East

Acceptable

6.4

11.6

4.7

8.6

3.0

Unacceptable

84.4

73.5

88.0

86.2

87.7

Hard to tell 

9.1

14.8

7.4

5.2

9.3

The share of respondents claiming that we should initiate negotiations due to casualties is higher in the West and in the South. In addition, the West macroregion is distinguished by higher percentage of people who did not make up their minds. 

A two-dimensional division between the questions about sensitivity to casualties and the willingness to make territorial concessions shows that sensitivity to casualties leads to higher willingness to accept territorial compromises. However, even in the group more sensitive to casualties, there is no relative majority in terms of willingness to agree to territorial concessions.

Please select one of the statements that best reflects your viewpoint (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022) 

 

Ukraine 

West

Center

South

East

We have incurred great losses and can lose even more lives, so we should engage in negotiations on ending the war

14.4

18.1

8.0

26.0

14.9

We have already incurred great losses, so peace other than on our terms is unacceptable

55.3

43.3

63.1

47.8

58.0

I disagree with both statements

11.5

14.7

10.2

12.8

9.6

Hard to tell

18.8

24.0

18.6

13.5

17.5

 

Imagine that Russia sets a number of conditions for Ukraine in exchange for ceasing the aggression. Please indicate your personal attitude to the following conditions: Acknowledging the occupied territories of Ukraine as part of the Russian Federation (%; broken down by sensitivity to casualties)

 

We have incurred great losses and can lose even more lives, so we should engage in negotiations on ending the war

We have already incurred great losses, so peace other than on our terms is unacceptable

I disagree with both statements

Hard to tell

Acceptable

21.0

2.8

4.3

6.2

Unacceptable

61.7

94.9

85.0

72.8

Hard to tell

17.3

2.3

10.7

21.0

Renouncing Ukraine's future accession to NATO looks like a bit more acceptable option among the hypothetical compromises compared to territorial concessions and finds the support of about 14% of Ukrainians compared to about 6% supporting territorial compromises.

Imagine that Russia sets a number of conditions for Ukraine in exchange for ceasing the aggression. Please indicate your personal attitude to the following conditions: Forgoing NATO membership (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022) 

 

Ukraine

West

Center

South

East

Acceptable

14.2

8.8

7.4

39.0

15.9

Unacceptable

71.7

73.3

77.9

51.7

72.0

Hard to tell 

14.1

17.9

14.7

9.3

12.1

 

The residents of the South macroregion are distinguished by their higher willingness to forgo Ukraine's accession to NATO. The trend of increasing willingness to make concessions regarding Ukraine's accession to NATO remains relevant among the older age groups in the South macroregion, while the younger generation is not prepared for such compromises. The most probable reason is the relatively higher prevalence of pro-Russian views among the older citizens residing in the South.

Imagine that Russia sets a number of conditions for Ukraine in exchange for ceasing the aggression. Please indicate your personal attitude to the following conditions: Forgoing NATO membership (%; broken down by the age of respondents residing in the South macroregion before February 24, 2022)

 

18–29 years old

30–39 years old

40–49 years old

50–59 years old

60+ years old

Acceptable

21.3

41.3

41.8

41.8

57.4

Unacceptable

66.7

47.8

47.8

50.9

38.3

Hard to tell

12.0

10.9

10.4

7.3

4.3

 

The situation with the willingness to sacrifice the accession of Ukraine to the EU during the hypothetical negotiations with Russia to a great extent reflects the situation with the willingness to sacrifice the NATO membership. The age dynamics in the South macroregion are the same, so we will consider several other factors that can make Ukrainians more inclined to compromise on the membership in the EU.

Imagine that Russia sets a number of conditions for Ukraine in exchange for ceasing the aggression. Please indicate your personal attitude to the following conditions: Forgoing EU membership (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022) 

 

Ukraine

West

Center

South

East

Acceptable

14.0

7.0

9.0

38.3

13.9

Unacceptable

72.8

79.6

76.3

50.3

74.7

Hard to tell 

13.2

13.5

14.7

11.4

11.4

Earlier, there was an assumption that “war fatigue” may make the citizens more inclined to agree to compromise. However, when this assumption was tested, it turned out that despite the war fatigue, very few Ukrainians are willing to make any specific practical concessions to the aggressor.

The impact of sensitivity to losses is also rather low. The group that believes negotiations should be initiated with Russia to end the war in the event of increased casualties stands out as more willing to compromise on EU membership. However, even within this group, only half of respondents are willing to sacrifice EU membership, which constitutes approximately 8% of the general population.

Imagine that Russia sets a number of conditions for Ukraine in exchange for ceasing the aggression. Please indicate your personal attitude to the following conditions: Forgoing EU (%; broken down by the preferential actions of the government if the death toll increases)

 

Continue the war no matter what*

Try to freeze the conflict without making compromises with Russia**

Start negotiations with Russia to stop the war***

Acceptable

5.5

13.3

40.1

Unacceptable

89.3

76.7

45.8

Hard to tell 

5.2

10.0

14.2

*In general, 35% of respondents chose this option answering the question “What do you think the political and military leaders of Ukraine should do if there is a sharp growth in death toll among both the Ukrainian military personnel and civilians?”

**22 % of respondents chose this option

***18 % of respondents chose this option

Thus, the Ukrainians show they are not willing to compromise with the aggressor. Coupled with the trust in the President and his “peace plan” principles, this signifies the cohesion and determination of both the society and military political authorities to persist in the war until peace is attained on Ukraine's terms. On the other hand, the offers of external political actors offering to negotiate with the aggressor on unfavorable terms (or pressure exerted for this purpose) will be supported by neither the society nor the military and political authorities of Ukraine. 

If Ukraine is forced to unfavorable peace by reducing financial/military support, it is most likely that the military and political authorities of Ukraine will maintain the current policy of securing national sovereignty, which will find a wider support among the citizens. So, the most rational approach for the partners would be to continue supporting Ukraine to defeat Russia.

The majority of respondents (52%) have a positive attitude to the international attempts to foster negotiations between Ukraine and Russia to stop the war, and about 29% have a negative attitude in this respect. However, the efficiency of such attempts will obviously depend on the terms of peace. 

Based on the results of the analysis of previous questions, 8–10% of the Ukrainian society are willing to consider various types of compromises. Hence, the attempts of the external political actors to act as agents not taking sides and pushing for compromise between the parties in the conflict will be fruitless as they do not consider the viewpoints of the Ukrainians regarding the boundaries of acceptable compromises with the aggressor. 

How do you view the attempts of the foreign states and international organizations to foster negotiations on ending the war between Russia and Ukraine? (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

Ukraine

West

Center

South

East

Negatively

28.6

18.6

31.2

27.0

35.3

Positively

52.3

58.5

45.7

61.9

51.9

Hard to tell 

19.2

23.0

23.1

11.1

12.8

Thus, there seems to be reasonableness in the strategy of partners to support Ukraine until a battlefield situation allows Ukraine to negotiate from the position of power and not make unacceptable concessions to the aggressor.

When it comes to possible agents at the future negotiations, Ukrainians think that the states that consistently supported Ukraine should participate. The level of trust in the UN or the states trying to take or declare a “neutral position” (Turkey, Israel, Vatican, and China) is much lower.

From the list below, please choose the international organizations or states which you think may be entrusted with the role of agents during peace talks between Ukraine and Russia (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence until February 24, 2022)

 

Ukraine

West

Center

South

East

USA 

42.8

51.5

40.9

38.3

37.5

Germany

23.3

30.4

21.5

19.7

19.4

United Nations

17.1

21.3

16.1

15.2

14.4

France

15.1

25.5

14

12.8

8.6

Turkey

12.4

18.1

13.1

7.9

7.8

Israel

9.6

21.3

4.5

9

8.3

Vatican (the Pope)

7.7

20.2

4.7

4.1

3.8

China 

7.5

14.8

4.9

5.2

7.1

OSCE 

6.6

9.3

5.5

8.3

4.3

African Union

2.6

8.6

0.9

1

1.3

India 

1.9

3.5

1.5

1.4

1.3

Brazil

1.6

2.1

1

2.8

1.5

Other

8.9

7.7

7.1

14.8

10.8

Ukraine does not need any agents 

19.7

11.6

21.2

25.5

22.4

Hard to tell

19.3

26.7

17.7

15.2

18.4

SECURITY STRATEGIES

Accession to NATO remains the most preferable option among the proposed security guarantees for the majority of Ukrainians (54%). The Democratic Initiatives Foundation conducted a survey about it in December 2022. Since then, the possible security guarantee models have somewhat changed, yet the option of joining NATO remained. For seven months, the share of NATO supporters among the population increased by 5%.

The closest alternative to NATO in terms of the number of supporters is a strategic defense cooperation treaty with several NATO members. This scenario was supported by 16% of respondents. The least popular alternative is relying exclusively on our own efforts (8%).

What security guarantee do you think would be best for Ukraine? (%; one option)

Accession to NATO

54.2

Strategic defense cooperation treaty with several NATO members

16.1

Neutral status secured by international guarantees of Ukraine’s sovereignty 

10.2

Relying solely on our own efforts and military industry without any international guarantees

7.5

Other

1.2

Hard to tell

10.8

The absolute majority of respondents regardless of sex, age, education, or income support Ukraine's accession to NATO.

Compared to other macroregions, the southern regions exhibit the lowest Euro-Atlantic integration support. This applies to both the current population and those who resided in these regions before February 24. At the same time, other security guarantee alternatives are more popular in the South compared to the country average. The population of the South has shown a particular preference for the model of neutral status secured by international guarantees of Ukraine’s sovereignty. In the South, this alternative is supported 12% more frequently than the national average. Such regional differences seem to be the consequences of Russian propaganda aimed at discrediting NATO.

What security guarantee do you think would be best for Ukraine? (%; one option; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

West

Center

South

East

Accession to NATO

57.8

63.1

31.4

49.5

Strategic defense cooperation treaty with several NATO members

12.8

15.5

21.7

15.7

Neutral status secured by international guarantees of Ukraine’s sovereignty 

8.1

5.8

23.8

11.6

Relying solely on our own efforts and military industry without any international guarantees

4.2

7.2

12.4

8.3

Other

0.2

0.9

1.7

2.8

Hard to tell

16.9

7.6

9.0

12.1

33% of respondents are willing to support the accession to NATO if part of Ukrainian territories remains occupied by Russia. Even among the supporters of NATO membership, the majority (48%) are against the accession if part of the country is occupied.  

Would you support the accession to NATO if part of Ukrainian territories remains occupied by Russia? (%; broken down by preferences for security guarantee options)

 

Accession to NATO

Strategic defense cooperation treaty with several NATO members

Neutral status secured by international guarantees of Ukraine’s sovereignty

Relying solely on our own efforts and military industry without any international guarantees

Hard to tell

Yes

41.8

32.6

16.3

12.7

17.6

No

47.7

57.1

63.9

72.4

38.0

Hard to tell 

10.5

10.2

19.8

14.8

44.4

Ukrainians seem to consider the accession to NATO not as a goal in itself, but as a possible security guarantee for the country against external aggression. It is for this reason that 61% of citizens, who would support the accession to NATO with part of the territories remaining occupied, are positive that the war stops only is Ukraine becomes a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The majority of those who do not support the accession to NATO, if part of the territories remains occupied (50%), explain their position by claiming that accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would not stop the war with Russia.

At the same time, the absolute majority (72%) of those who are against the accession to NATO, if part of the territories remains occupied, are not willing to give up on joining NATO as a compromise with Russia. 

Do you agree with the following statement: The war may stop only if Ukraine joins NATO? (%; broken down by the support of accession to NATO if part of the country remains occupied)

 

You would support the accession to NATO if part of Ukrainian territories remains occupied by Russia

You would not support the accession to NATO if part of Ukrainian territories remains occupied by Russia

Hard to tell

You agree that the war may stop only if Ukraine joins NATO

61

35

24

You do not agree that the war may stop only if Ukraine joins NATO

28

50

33

Hard to tell 

12

16

44

There is even lower support of the peace treaty, which would theoretically guarantee long-term peace and protection of Ukraine from the Russian threat if part of the territories remains occupied by Russia. 

21% of respondents are willing to accept such terms. The respondents who find this scenario acceptable are inclined towards a pessimistic view of Ukraine's future and would prefer to keep the status quo to prevent further war losses.

Would you support... if part of Ukrainian territories remains occupied by Russia? (%)

 

Accession to NATO

Signing a peace treaty which would guarantee long-term peace and protection of Ukraine from the Russian threat

Yes

19.5

8.7

Rather yes

13.1

12.3

Rather no

16.4

16.9

No

35.5

48.6

Hard to tell

15.5

13.5

WAR CRIMES AND RECORDING THEM

The absolute majority of Ukrainians (78%) share the idea that all Russians are accountable for the aggression against Ukraine. The majority of individuals disagreeing with this statement reside in the southern regions (30%), claim that Russian is their native language (37%) or speak Russian in their everyday life (32%). However, even among the Russian-speaking citizens, the absolute majority blames the initiation of war on the Russian nation.

The research has not revealed any connections between the age of such respondents and their attitude towards Russians, so it can be assumed that positive feelings towards Russians are formed by Russian-speaking information sources, Russian-speaking experts and commentators in Ukrainian media space.

Do you agree with the following statement: All Russians are accountable for the aggression against Ukraine? (%)

I agree

55.2

I rather agree

22.7

I rather disagree

11.1

I disagree

6.0

Hard to tell

5.1

Do you agree with the following statement: All Russians are accountable for the aggression against Ukraine? (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

West

Center

South

East

I agree

52.7

54.3

54.1

57.4

I rather agree

21.8

26.7

13.8

22.4

I rather disagree

11.1

10.3

18.3

8.6

I disagree

5.3

3.5

12.1

8.1

Hard to tell

9.0

5.1

1.7

3.5

Do you agree with the following statement: All Russians are accountable for the aggression against Ukraine? (%; broken down by the native and everyday language)

 

Ukrainian as a native language

Russian as a native language

Ukrainian as an everyday language

Russian as an everyday language

I agree

58.2

40.1

59.0

44.5

I rather agree

23.4

17.8

23.5

20.2

I rather disagree

9.4

20.2

8.7

18.1

I disagree

3.9

17.8

3.2

14.2

Hard to tell

5.2

4.0

5.6

3.0

The Ukrainian society strongly supports collective forms of punishment for Russians involved in war crimes. In general, only 21% of respondents think that the immediate criminals and their accomplices should be punished. 37% of respondents demand to punish the Russian authorities, military commanders, and leaders of military companies like Wagner. Another 36% claim that all Russians should be punished. 

To conclude, it can be stated that the majority of Ukrainians (57%) want to punish everyone who was directly involved in planning, approving, arranging, and committing the war crimes.

However, even now, there is a large portion of citizens (36%) sharing the most radical approach to punishing Russia. According to the observations, that position was formed not later than autumn 2022 when a similar question was posed for the first time. The largest number of citizens with radical opinions in this regard live in the central (40%) and southern (39%) regions. 

How do you think the war crimes of Russia should be punished? (%; one option)

 

June 2023

October 2022

Punishing the military criminals and their accomplices

20.9

16.9

Punishing all Russian authorities, military commanders, and leaders of private military companies (like Wagner)

36.6

35.1

Punishing the entire Russian state and all Russians 

36.2

34.7

Hard to tell

6.3

13.2

How do you think the war crimes of Russia should be punished? (%; one option; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

West

Center

South

East

Punishing the military criminals and their accomplices

32.7

16.1

20.0

16.6

Punishing all Russian authorities, military commanders, and leaders of private military companies (like Wagner)

24.4

40.6

33.4

42.1

Punishing the entire Russian state and all Russians 

32.0

39.6

39.0

34.8

Hard to tell

10.9

3.7

7.6

6.5

Despite the massive and merciless war crimes committed by Russians, the majority of Ukrainians (68%) think that the prosecution and punishment of the criminals should be subject to the national and international laws. At the same time, a quarter of respondents are positive that criminals like these should be punished out of court. The largest share of respondents supporting the punishment of the Russian war criminals out of court live in the central (34%) and eastern regions (25%), and the lowest share (11%) reside in the south of Ukraine.

How do you think the state authorities should prosecute the Russians who committed war crimes in the territory of Ukraine? (%; one option)

Prosecution and punishment within the national and international law

67.6

Prosecution and punishment out of court

24.8

There should be no punishment

0.4

Hard to tell

7.1

How do you think the state authorities should prosecute the Russians who committed war crimes in the territory of Ukraine? (%; one option; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

West

Center

South

East

Prosecution and punishment within the national and international law

72.2

60.5

80.1

68.8

Prosecution and punishment out of court

16.2

33.7

10.7

25.4

There should be no punishment

0.0

0.0

1.7

0.5

Hard to tell

11.6

5.6

6.6

5.3

Almost 16% of the polled Ukrainians all over the country said they had witnessed war crimes committed by Russians, and another 5% said they might have witnessed such actions. These are predominantly the respondents who resided in Donetsk and Luhansk (53%), Zaporizhzhia (73%), Kherson (80%), Mykolaiiv (34%), Kharkiv (26%), Chernihiv (21%), Kyiv and Vinnytsia (19% each), Dnipropetrovsk (17%), and Sumy (15%) regions as of the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

However, only half (50%) of the self-proclaimed witnesses said they were ready to act as witnesses during the investigation and international court proceedings. Another 28% of the polled witnesses would agree to participate only under certain conditions. It should be noted that in the regions which due to the occupation and war were subject to most frequent crimes, usually only half of the self-proclaimed witnesses were ready to take part in the investigations under any conditions.

It can be assumed that such a low level of readiness to cooperate with judicial authorities can be attributed to the unwillingness to constantly reminisce about such crimes and the uncertainty that this sacrifice will help punish the criminals.

Did you witness any war crimes during the Russian-Ukrainian war? (%)

Yes

15.8

Rather yes

4.8

Rather no

8.5

No

65.4

Hard to tell

5.6

Are you ready to act as a witness during the investigation and international court proceedings on war crimes? (%; share of those who witnessed war crimes)

Yes, under any conditions

50.4

Yes, but only under certain conditions

27.6

No

11.7

Hard to tell

10.3

The absolute majority of Ukrainians (94%) think that Ukraine should demand that Russia reimburse the damages incurred by Ukraine during the war.

However, there is no consensus among the population regarding the likelihood of Ukraine's actually receiving such compensation. Thus, 42% of Ukrainians think that there are low chances for reparations. 40% of respondents hold an opposite opinion, assessing the chances of receiving reparations as rather high or very high. Generally, the expectations about the likelihood of reparations from Russia are evenly distributed across Ukraine both among the macroregions of residence and the respondents' age. 

How do you assess the chances of Ukraine to be compensated for damages caused by Russia during the war? (%)

Very low 

17.6

Rather low

24.5

Rather high

26.7

Very high

12.9

Hard to tell

18.4

Among the supporters of “peace at any price”, 72% are skeptical about the payment of reparations by Russia. Those who are willing to fight until victory are also not very optimistic: 46% of them believe that reparations are likely, and 37% consider the chances to be low. Considering that the percentage of those believing in the possibility of receiving compensation from Russia for the inflicted damages is higher among the supporters of war until victory, it can be inferred that they based their assessments on the scenario of Ukraine’s winning the war and compelling reparations.

How do you assess the chances of Ukraine to be compensated for damages caused by Russia during the war? (%; broken down by the attitude to compromises for the sake of peace)

 

Any compromises are worth for the sake of peace

Compromises can be made for the sake of peace, but not all

The war may end only with victory

Hard to tell

Low

72 %

48 %

37 %

23 %

High

14 %

37 %

46 %

20 %

Hard to tell

14 %

15 %

16 %

57 %

LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES OF THE CONFLICT

The absolute majority of Ukrainians (89%) would like to live in Ukraine in the future. This only applies to those remaining in Ukraine today, as the survey did not cover the citizens who went abroad after the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

Do you plan your future life in Ukraine? (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

Ukraine

West

Center

South

East

Yes

89.2

82.4

91.4

88.6

92.7

No

4.4

7.2

3.1

5.2

3.8

Hard to tell 

6.3

10.4

5.5

6.2

3.5

The younger generation more frequently express their desire to pursue their future abroad. The differences are statistically significant, yet the size of the gap between the groups does not appear to indicate a concerning trend. Employment or the assessment of the current financial status does not significantly influence the respondents' desire to build their future abroad. 

Do you plan your future life in Ukraine? (%; broken down by the respondents' age)

 

18–29 years old

30–39 years old

40–49 years old

50–59 years old

60+ years old

Yes

84.3

86.9

88.6

91.1

95.6

No

7.2

6.1

2.1

3.1

2.3

Hard to tell

8.5

7.0

9.3

5.7

2.1

This can be explained by both patriotic motives and the fact that a significant share of those who wanted to emigrate have already done so, and their opinions were not covered by the survey. However, it is crucial to ensure that citizens who intend to stay in Ukraine in the future are not motivated to change their plans.

Going abroad to reunite with the family is irrelevant for the majority of Ukrainians. About one fourth of respondents in the Сenter and East, and 17% of respondents in the South macroregions answered they would not like to go to their families. Such a result should be interpreted not as a reluctance of such individuals to see their loved ones, but rather a desire for their family to return to Ukraine.This also raises questions about the motivation of citizens to stay in Ukraine and the motivation of the displaced persons to come back to Ukraine. 

Would you like to leave the country after the war to reunite with your family? (%; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

Ukraine

West

Center

South

East

My family currently resides in Ukraine

72.7

84.7

70.0

74.7

64.0

Yes

5.9

7.0

4.6

6.6

6.8

No

18.4

4.9

22.8

16.6

25.7

Hard to tell 

3.0

3.5

2.7

2.1

3.5

Would you like to leave the country after the war to reunite with your family? (%; among the respondents whose families are abroad; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022) 

 

Ukraine

West

Center

South

East

Yes 

21.5

45.5

15.2

26.0

18.9

No 

67.7

31.8

75.8

65.8

71.3

Hard to tell  

10.8

22.7

9.0

8.2

9.8

Regarding the state's priorities for post-war recovery, the expectations of citizens are quite foreseeable: economic revival, restoration of the power sector and other civil infrastructure, housing renovation, and security guarantees for the population. 

One of the priorities that deserves attention and can impact citizens' motivation to build their future in Ukraine is suppressing government corruption, which was mentioned by respondents most frequently, although not significantly more than other options in terms of frequency of mentions.

Over the last several months, corruption scandals have increasingly come to light: food purchases for unreasonable prices by the Ministry of Defense, abuse of power by the Head of Odesa Regional Territorial Recruiting Center and his purchases of expensive real property abroad, Head of the Supreme Court of Ukraine caught on bribery, detention of the head of Ternopil Regional Council and his deputies, abuse of power by the Head of Hostomel Settlement Military Administration etc.

These and other corruption scandals amidst a full-scale war can undermine the unity of the Ukrainian civil society and the military and political leaders mentioned in the report in their efforts to counter the aggressor, and obviously do not meet the demands of the civil society for combating government corruption. As unmet expectations build up, there is a risk that over time, citizens may wish to pursue their future outside Ukraine.

What do you think the country's priorities should be during post-war recovery? (%, up to three options; broken down by the macroregion of residence before February 24, 2022)

 

Ukraine

West

Center

South

East

Fighting government corruption

40.5

22.7

53.1

32.8

43.2

Attracting the external investments to create new enterprises and work places

40.1

37.4

45.1

37.9

33.3

Restoring the ruined or damaged power infrastructure and utility entities

38.7

32.5

34.8

49.7

42.2

Improving the external border and defense infrastructure

37.4

36.4

38.3

36.6

35.6

Creating favorable conditions for small and medium-sized business

28.1

25.8

27.9

32.8

31.1

Supporting veterans and all the victims of the Russian aggression (families of the deceased, the captives, and deported citizens)

24.7

36.2

21.8

25.5

18.4

Restoring the ruined or damaged housing 

23.9

21.8

18.0

34.5

26.3

Restoring the ruined or damaged schools and hospitals

23.8

29.0

17.1

29.0

30.1

Construction or repair of transport infrastructure (roads, railway, and airports)

16.5

23.7

13.0

18.3

14.9

Other

0.5

0.5

0.7

0.0

0.3

Hard to tell 

4.3

9.3

4.2

0.0

2.3

EXPECTATIONS REGARDING INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT

The expectations of Ukrainians regarding the aid from partner countries can be summarized into two primary areas: improving the defensive capacity of Ukraine and providing security guarantees and economic support for Ukraine. 

What steps do you think the partner countries should take to support Ukraine? (%; multiple choice; broken down by the macroregion of residence until February 24, 2022)

 

Ukraine

West

Center

South

East

Whatever is needed to improve the defensive capacity of Ukraine and provide security guarantees

70.7

62.2

72.9

71.4

72.5

Whatever is needed to support Ukraine's economy

56.0

54.3

49.6

77.6

51.6

Whatever is needed to restore the power infrastructure of Ukraine

54.3

63.3

48.5

57.2

50.4

Whatever is needed to isolate and punish Russia for the aggression

51.1

57.3

52.6

42.8

45.6

Whatever is needed to help the refugees from Ukraine

38.7

50.1

40.7

29.7

27.7

Whatever is needed to facilitate countering the corruption and oligarchs

36.6

42.2

32.7

36.2

37.8

Hard to tell

4.4

9.3

3.6

0.7

4.0

The Ukrainians mention the role of the partner countries in terms of corruption countering less frequently, which is probably caused by the wording of the question about the aid expected right NOW. Overall, since 2014, the governments of partner countries and international organizations have undoubtedly played a constructive role in creating the infrastructure of anti-corruption bodies in Ukraine by applying a policy of providing financial aid on condition of the Ukrainian government's commitment to implementing the reforms. Such practice appears to be reasonable and viable in the future when international aid is provided for Ukraine's recovery. 

SURVEY RESULTS

1. What are your feelings about the future of Ukraine? SEVERAL OPTIONS 

 

%

Optimism

33.1

Indifference

0.9

Joy

5.0

Despair

6.8

Confidence

24.2

Confusion

17.7

Satisfaction

1.9

Pessimism

3.4

Hope

58.8

Anxiety

42.0

Interest

13.7

Fear

22.7

Other

1.5

Hard to tell

2.2

2. What safety threats will be the most relevant for you in the coming months? UP TO 5 OPTIONS

 

%

Power, heating, or water supply cuts due to Russian shelling

44.9

Deficit of food, medicine, and other essentials

20.9

Environmental pollution

24.0

Increased political opposition within the country

15.1

Cyberattacks, cuts in internet connection

10.6

Government corruption

33.7

New attacks by the Russian forces

30.4

Massive shelling of Ukrainian cities

60.2

Spreading of dangerous diseases and epidemics

19.3

Discontinuation of economic support from the West

10.6

Discontinuation of military support from the West

14.9

Attempts by the authorities to limit the rights and liberties of citizens

12.8

A sharp increase in prices for necessary goods

40.1

Use of nuclear weapons by Russia

23.7

Other

1.3

Hard to tell

4.2

3. Which of the following statements would you rather agree with? 

 

%

I would like the war to end in the nearest future at any price

30.4

I would accept the continuation of the war if it is a prerequisite for victory

53.4

Hard to tell

16.2

4–6. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? 

4. Ukraine can withstand even a long-term war with Russia 

 

%

I agree

46.7

I rather agree

30.2

I rather disagree

7.2

I disagree

3.5

Hard to tell

12.3

5. The West will NOT support Ukraine for a long time 

 

%

I agree

9.6

I rather agree

15.9

I rather disagree

25.6

I disagree

30.0

Hard to tell

18.7

6. It would be hard for Ukraine to gain a complete victory as Russia has more economic and human resources 

 

%

I agree

14.3

I rather agree

28.4

I rather disagree

21.8

I disagree

24.2

Hard to tell

11.4

7. What problems are and will be relevant for your family in the nearest future? SEVERAL OPTIONS 

 

%

Loss of income

32.7

Loss of access to housing

9.5

Loss of work/business

18.4

Hunger

11.2

Life threat due to the hostilities

45.4

Increased crime rates

8.4

Mobilization of a family member

24.6

Unavailability of high-quality or proper treatment or medical aid

18.5

Unemployment

17.0

Poor environment state (air and water pollution) in the place of living

20.5

Worse working conditions

11.7

Separation from the family

26.5

Other

4.3

None of the above

4.0

Hard to tell / Refuse to tell

6.9

8. Do you believe in the victory of Ukraine in the war against the Russian Federation? 

 

%

Yes

77.0

Rather yes

15.8

Rather no

2.7

No

1.0

Hard to tell

3.6

9. When do you think Ukraine will win the war? AMONG THE RESPONDENTS WHO BELIEVE IN THE VICTORY OF UKRAINE

 

%

By the end of this year

30.6

In one or two years

31.8

In three to five years

11.5

No earlier than in five years

1.9

In more than five years

1.5

Hard to tell

22.5

10. If so, what situation would you personally consider as a victory in the war? AMONG THE RESPONDENTS WHO BELIEVE IN THE VICTORY OF UKRAINE, ONE OPTION 

 

%

Termination of the hostilities, even if the Russian army keeps the territories which are currently occupied (Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, Donbas, and the Crimea)

2.5

Pushing the Russian troops back behind the line of February 23, 2022 (with the Crimea and separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions remaining occupied)

10.2

Pushing the Russian troops back behind the state border, including Donbas (with the Crimea remaining occupied)

7.4

Pushing the Russian troops back from Ukraine in all directions and restoring the borders of January 2014

42.5

Annihilation of the Russian army and fostering mutiny/collapse within Russia

25.5

Other

3.9

Hard to tell

8.0

Please select the options from the list below that would personally convince you of Ukraine's victory SEVERAL OPTIONS 

 

%

Liberation of the Ukrainian territories to the borders of 1991

69.7

Bringing back all Ukrainian captives and deported citizens

60.2

Annihilation of the Russian army

36.7

Dethroning Putin

34.3

Collapse of Russia or the beginning of a civil war in Russia

26.7

Signing a peace treaty on ending the war

26.6

Punishing Russian military criminals

51.3

Other

1.9

Hard to tell

4.7

12–13. Please choose one of the assumptions that best reflects your viewpoint: 

12.

 

%

Cessation of the hostilities and final ending of the war is acceptable even if part of Ukrainian territories remains occupied

10.4

Cessation of the hostilities and final ending of the war is NOT acceptable if part of Ukrainian territories remains occupied

65.3

I disagree with both statements

10.3

Hard to tell

14.0

13.

 

%

We have incurred great losses and can lose even more lives, so we should engage in negotiations on ending the war

14.8

We have already incurred great losses, so peace other than on our terms is unacceptable 

54.7

I disagree with both statements

11.8

Hard to tell

18.7

14. In the context of the Russian-Ukrainian war, what does "peace" personally mean to you? INDICATE

 

%

The answer is provided

87.6

The answer is not provided

12.4

15. Please choose one of the statements that best reflects your viewpoint: ONE OPTION 

 

%

Any compromises are worth for the sake of peace

5.7

Compromises can be made for the sake of peace, but not all

36.2

The war may end only with victory

51.3

Hard to tell

6.9

16–18. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? 

16. The end of the war is now more important than high-risk continuation of the hostilities for the best conditions for our country

 

%

I agree

11.9

I rather agree

18.7

I rather disagree

21.9

I disagree

29.9

Hard to tell

17.6

17. The longer the war lasts, the smaller the chances Ukraine will define the conditions for peace

 

%

I agree

8.8

I rather agree

15.9

I rather disagree

22.1

I disagree

36.0

Hard to tell

17.3

18. The war may stop only if Ukraine joins NATO

 

%

I agree

18.8

I rather agree

22.5

I rather disagree

17.3

I disagree

22.6

Hard to tell

18.7

19–23. What do you think the political and military leaders of Ukraine should do if...: ONE OPTION 

19. The economic situation in the country starts to deteriorate quickly

 

%

Continue the war no matter what

46.2

Try to freeze the conflict without making compromises with Russia

18.9

Start negotiations with Russia to stop the war

11.5

Hard to tell

23.3

20. The number of casualties among the Ukrainian military personnel and civilians starts to increase quickly

 

%

Continue the war no matter what

34.8

Try to freeze the conflict without making compromises with Russia

21.5

Start negotiations with Russia to stop the war

18.4

Hard to tell

25.2

21. The front line situation does not change for better or worse within this year

 

%

Continue the war no matter what

49.4

Try to freeze the conflict without making compromises with Russia

15.3

Start negotiations with Russia to stop the war

12.4

Hard to tell

22.8

22. The military aid from the western states declines or ceases

 

%

Continue the war no matter what

40.8

Try to freeze the conflict without making compromises with Russia

18.3

Start negotiations with Russia to stop the war

14.8

Hard to tell

26.1

23. The economic aid from the western states declines or ceases

 

%

Continue the war no matter what

44.4

Try to freeze the conflict without making compromises with Russia

18.0

Start negotiations with Russia to stop the war

12.4

Hard to tell

25.3

24. Do you support the formula of peace of Ukraine also known as the peace plan of Volodymyr Zelenskyi? 

 

%

I fully support it

34.2

I rather support it

23.6

I rather do not support it 

1.6

I do not support it at all

0.8

I am not familiar with it

32.4

Hard to tell

7.4

25. What conditions do you think make the negotiations with Russia on the end of the war possible? ONE OPTION 

 

%

Peace talks are possible even now

10.0

Peace talks with Russia are possible now, but only with the purpose to liberate captives and hostages 

18.1

Peace talks with Russia are possible only when all Ukrainian territories are liberated 

39.7

Peace talks with Russia are totally impossible

24.4

Hard to tell

7.9

26–28. Imagine that Russia sets a number of conditions for Ukraine in exchange for ceasing the aggression. Please indicate your personal attitude to the following conditions: 

26. Acknowledging the occupied territories of Ukraine as part of the Russian Federation

 

%

Completely acceptable

2.1

Rather acceptable

4.3

Rather unacceptable

15.8

Completely unacceptable

68.9

Hard to tell

9.0

27. Forgoing NATO membership

 

%

Completely acceptable

4.8

Rather acceptable

9.4

Rather unacceptable

20.5

Completely unacceptable

51.3

Hard to tell

14.1

28. Forgoing EU membership

 

%

Completely acceptable

5.2

Rather acceptable

8.9

Rather unacceptable

21.3

Completely unacceptable

51.3

Hard to tell

13.3

29. How do you view the attempts of the foreign countries and international organizations to foster negotiations on ending the war between Russia and Ukraine? 

 

%

Negatively

13.1

Rather negatively 

14.7

Rather positively 

29.1

Positively

24.1

Hard to tell

19.0

30. From the list below, please choose the international organizations or states which you think may be entrusted with the role of agents during peace talks between Ukraine and Russia. SEVERAL OPTIONS

 

%

African Union

2.6

Brazil

1.6

Vatican (the Pope)

7.7

Israel

9.6

India 

1.9

China 

7.5

Germany

23.3

OSCE

6.6

United Nations

17.1

USA 

42.8

Turkey

12.4

France

15.1

Other (the respondents predominantly mentioned the UK)

8.9

Ukraine does not need any agents 

19.7

Hard to tell

19.3

31. What security guarantee do you think would be the best for Ukraine? ONE OPTION 

 

%

Accession to NATO

54.2

Strategic defense cooperation treaty with several NATO members

16.1

Neutral status secured by international guarantees of Ukraine’s sovereignty 

10.2

Relying solely on our own efforts and military industry without any international guarantees

7.5

Other

1.2

Hard to tell

10.8

32. Would you support the accession to NATO if part of Ukrainian territories remains occupied by Russia?

 

%

Yes

19.5

Rather yes

13.1

Rather no

16.4

No

35.5

Hard to tell

15.5

33. Would you support a peace treaty guaranteeing lasting peace and protection of Ukraine from the Russian threat even if part of the territories remains occupied by Russia? 

 

%

Yes

8.7

Rather yes

12.3

Rather no

16.9

No

48.6

Hard to tell

13.5

34. Do you agree with the following statement: 

All Russians are accountable for the aggression against Ukraine

 

%

I agree

55.2

I rather agree

22.7

I rather disagree

11.1

I disagree

6.0

Hard to tell

5.1

35. How do you think the war crimes of Russia should be punished? ONE OPTION

 

%

Punishing the military criminals and their accomplices

20.9

Punishing all Russian authorities, military commanders, and leaders of private military companies (like Wagner)

36.6

Punishing the entire Russian state and all Russians 

36.2

Hard to tell

6.3

36. How do you think the public authorities should prosecute the Russians who committed war crimes in the territory of Ukraine? ONE OPTION

 

%

Prosecution and punishment within the national and international law

67.6

Prosecution and punishment out of court

24.8

There should be no punishment

0.4

Hard to tell

7.1

 

37. Did you witness war crimes during the Russian-Ukrainian war?

 

%

Yes

15.8

Rather yes

4.8

Rather no

8.5

No

65.4

Hard to tell

5.6

 

38. Are you ready to act as a witness during the investigation and international court proceedings on war crimes? AMONG THOSE WHO WITNESSED WAR CRIMES

 

%

Yes, under any conditions

50.4

Yes, but only under certain conditions

27.6

No

11.7

Hard to tell

10.3

 

39. Do you think Ukraine should demand compensation from Russia for the damages incurred during the war?

 

%

Yes

84.5

Rather yes