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Perception of LGBT people and their rights in Ukraine: results of a telephone survey conducted on May 26 - June 5, 2023

The press release was prepared by the Executive Director of KIIS Anton Hrushetskyi


From May 26 to June 5, 2023, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted its own all-Ukrainian public opinion survey "Omnibus", to which questions about LGBT people in Ukraine and their rights were added at the request of the NGO "Nash svit". Bythemethodofcomputer-assistedtelephoneinterviews(CATI) based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers (with random generation of phone numbers and subsequent statistical weighting), 2,013 respondents living in all regions of Ukraine (except the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) were interviewed. The survey was conducted with adult (aged 18 and older) citizens of Ukraine who, at the time of the survey, lived on the territory of Ukraine (within the boundaries controlled by the authorities of Ukraine until February 24, 2022). The sample did not include residents of territories that were not temporarily controlled by the authorities of Ukraine until February 24, 2022 (AR of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol, certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts), and the survey was not conducted with citizens who left the country after February 24, 2022.

Formally, under normal circumstances, the statistical error of such a sample (with a probability of 0.95 and taking into account the design effect of 1.1) did not exceed 2.4% for indicators close to 50%, 2.1% for indicators close to 25%, 1.5% - for indicators close to 10%, 1.1% - for indicators close to 5%

Under conditions of war, in addition to the specified formal error, a certain systematic deviation is added. In particular, if in May 2022, among all the respondents we interviewed, 2.5-4% lived in the territories occupied after February 24 (and this corresponded to the percentage of those who live there, because the generation of telephone numbers was random), now due to the occupiers turning off the telephone connection, not a single respondent who currently lives in occupied settlements was included in the sample (along with this, out of a total of 2013 respondents, 70 respondents lived in a settlement that is currently occupied until February 24, 2022). It is important to note that although the views of the respondents who lived in the occupation were somewhat different, the general trends were quite similar. That is, the impossibility of interviewing such respondents does not significantly affect the quality of the results. There are other factors that can affect the quality of results in "wartime" conditions (see Annex 1).

In general, we believe that the obtained results are still highly representative and allow for a fairly reliable analysis of public moods of the population.


Below are the main results of the survey. You can read the full report in Ukrainian at this link, and at this link - the publication of the NGO "Nash svit".


Attitudes towards LGBT people
  • In Ukraine, there is a fairly significant share of those who have a negative attitude towards LGBT people - 34% (at the same time, it is worth considering that some respondents could hide their negative attitude). However, over the last year, the share of such people decreased from 38% to 34%. At the same time, there is an increase from 13% to 15.5% of those who have a positive attitude. It is important that the total number of those who have a positive or indifferent attitude is 61%, that is, this is the majority of the country's population (although the indifferent attitude prevails - 45%) (in 2022, 58 had a positive or indifferent attitude%);
  • 68% of respondents have a positive attitude to the fact that LGBT people are participating in the resistance to the Russian invasion and only 10% have a negative attitude to this (in 2022, the indicators were, respectively, 66% and 11%). Positive assessments prevail among all demographic categories (mostly at least half approve and no more than 16% disapprove);
  • At the same time, among those who are indifferent to LGBT people, the vast majority approve of the participation of LGBT people in the war against Russia.
Rights of LGBT people in Ukraine
  • 67% of respondents agree that LGBT people should have the same rights as other citizens, and an indicator has increased from 64% in 2022 to 67% now. Do not think so - 26% (in 2022 there were the same number);
  • Even among those who generally have a negative attitude towards LGBT people, 47% agree that they should have the same rights as all citizens;
  • At the same time, 28% support the introduction of a registered partnership without the right of adoption, 39% are against it. However, firstly, the indicators became better: in 2022, 24% supported and 42% did not support this idea. Secondly, there are still 26% of those who are indifferent (27% in 2022). Together, those who answered "yes" and "indifferent" make up 54%, which outweighs the number of opponents (in 2022, the similar figure was 51%);
  • Many doubts arise even among those who have a positive attitude towards LGBT people (among them 20% against). Although only among the category of those who have a negative attitude, 70% are against, and 26% either support or are indifferent. Among the category of those who are generally indifferent to LGBT people, 30% support registered partnerships, and 40% answered that they are indifferent.




Annex 2. Methodological comments on the representativeness of telephone surveys conducted during the war





Even before the full-scale Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, there were a number of factors that negatively affected the representativeness of the polls (for example, the absence of a census for more than 20 years). A full-scale war, of course, greatly affects representativeness and complicates the work of sociologists, but does not make it impossible. Access to reliable data on the state of public moods remains relevant both for Ukrainians themselves and for our foreign partners (who, as the events of recent months have shown, often underestimated and did not understand Ukraine and Ukrainians).

At the same time, in order to maintain objectivity, it is necessary to understand what limitations the war imposes on the conduct of sociological surveys. First of all, we pay attention to large-scale population movements. As of May, 2023, the UN estimates the number of Ukrainian refugees at almost 8.3 million. Obviously, due to various reasons, it is difficult to consider these data unequivocally accurate, but in general, the quite significant scale of departure from the country is understandable. There is no exact data on how many of them are adult citizens, but, most likely, it is about half. Among about 30 million adult citizens (estimated at the time of the full-scale invasion), it can be roughly estimated that about 15-20% have left the country, and it is impossible to reliably survey these citizens using telephone interviews. Even more citizens have become internally displaced persons, but they have a much smaller impact on the quality of telephone surveys, since almost all of these citizens have mobile phones and are reachable to participate in the survey (in fact, 16% of the respondents of this survey are IDPs).

Another important issue is the accessibility for the survey of the population of the territories that were occupied after February 24, 2022, due to the conduct of intensive military operations or due to interruptions in telephone communication. Now there is practically no connection. In May 2022, 2.5-4% of respondents lived in these territories, now the sample does not include a single respondent who currently lives in an occupied settlement (together with this, out of a total of 2013 respondents, 70 respondents lived in a settlement until February 24, 2022 , which is currently occupied; these respondents currently live in one of the settlements in the territory controlled by the Government of Ukraine). According to our estimates, the territories that were occupied by Russia as of the beginning of September 2022 (occupied after February 24, 2022) accounted for about 9% of the total adult population. Taking into account the mass exodus of the population from these territories (most likely, we are talking about at least half of the population), as well as the fact that significant territories of Kharkiv and Kherson regions were liberated from this period, we estimate that no more than 3-5% of the total adult population of Ukraine were unavailable due to communication problems.

In our opinion, a more significant impact on representativeness can be either a generally lower willingness of citizens with "pro-Russian" attitudes to participate in surveys, or the insincerity of those who did take part in the survey (taking into account the obvious facts and prevailing opinions in the media regarding the Russian invasion , some citizens will not want to say what they really think "in public"). If to talk about the general willingness of respondents to participate in the survey, then in recent surveys we see either the same indicators or somewhat lower (although it should be borne in mind that the lower willingness to participate of "pro-Russian" citizens can be compensated by the higher willingness to participate of "pro-Ukrainian"-minded citizens).

We conducted a methodical experiment in May, which shows that the citizens who are currently participating in the surveys in terms of demographic characteristics and meaningful attitudes are close to those who participated in the surveys until February 24, 2022. Preliminarily, we see some shift in the direction of "pro-Ukrainian"-minded citizens, which is reflected in up to 4-6% deviations for individual questions (in the direction of more frequent selection of answers that correspond to the "pro-Ukrainian" interpretation of events). In our opinion, in the current conditions, this is a rather optimistic indicator.

However, this experiment does not give an answer as to how sincere the respondents are now in their answers. To assess the sincerity of responses to sensitive questions, in July we conducted another experiment using the "imagined acquaintance" method. The results showed that the respondents generally answered the survey questions honestly. That is, we have reason to say that during the interview, the respondents really answer our questions sincerely.


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