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Dynamics of readiness for territorial concessions to end the war as soon as possible: results of a telephone survey conducted from September 29 to October 9, 2023

The press release was prepared by Anton Hrushetskyi, executive director of KIIS


From September 29 to October9 2023, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted its own all-Ukrainian public opinion survey "Omnibus". Bythemethodofcomputer-assistedtelephoneinterviews(CATI) based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers (with random generation of phone numbers and subsequent statistical weighting), 1,010 respondents living in all regions of Ukraine (except AR 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 Ukrainian authorities 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 dustricts 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 3.4% for indicators close to 50%, 3.0% for indicators close to 25%, 2.1% - for indicators close to 10%, 1.5% - 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 1,010 respondents, 22 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, which were cited by KIIS earlier.

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.



Readiness for territorial concessions


Since May 2022, KIIS in its own surveys regularly asks question about the population's readiness for territorial concessions in order to achieve peace and preserve independence as soon as possible. Now, in September-October 2023, we asked this question again to assess the dynamics of public moods, which allows, in particular, to understand how the views of the population have changed over the summer of 2023.

Graph 1 shows the respondents' answers. As can be seen, compared to May 2023, the share of those who are ready to agree to territorial concessions to achieve peace and preserve the independence of Ukraine has increased from 10% to 14%. Together with this the absolute majority of the population - 80% (in May 2023 - 84%) - remains confident that no territorial concessions are acceptable, even if this means that the war will last longer and there will be other threats


Graph 1. With which of these statements regarding possible compromises to achieve peace with Russia do you agree to a greater extent?



In the graph below, the data is given in a regional dimension (where the region is defined by the place of residence until February 24, 2022). Compared to May 2023, the mood of the population among the residents of the West and Center has practically not changed. Simultaneously among residents of the South, from 8% to 21%, there were more people who are ready for territorial concessions, and among residents of the East, the indicator increased from 13% to 22% (moreover, if to analyze the residents of the East who are still living in the East, then among them 28% are ready for territorial concessions).

However, despite the indicated trends for residents of the South and East, a convincing majority among them (74% in the South and 73% in the East) are against any territorial concessions.


Graph2. Readiness for territorial concessions in the regional dimension



In the graph below the data are given in terms of the language of communication at home. Although it can be seen that among Russian-speaking citizens there are slightly more people who are ready for territorial concessions (27% against 15% among those who use the Ukrainian and Russian languages equally, and against 11% among those who use the Ukrainian language), however among all categories, the majority is against any territorial concessions, in particular, 65% of Russian-speaking citizens are against concessions.

In addition, it should be taken into account that the majority of Russian-speaking citizens live in the South and East of Ukraine, which are closer to the front line and suffer the most from the Russian invasion. The data of our other studies show that a significant factor affecting the tendency to compromise is the feeling of risk to one's life and the lives of loved ones. That is, to a large extent, the difference in the graph is determined by the region of residence (and language has a smaller influence).

In the sample there were only 20 respondents (out of 1010) who continue to identify themselves by nationality as Russian. This amount is not enough for statistically reliable calculations. However, it is indicative that among them 12 respondents are against any concessions (6 respondents are ready for concessions).


Graph3. Readiness for territorial concessions depending on the main language of communication at home



A. Hrushetskyi, comments on the survey results:


In early October 2023, KIIS completed its own regular survey and we are processing the results, in particular, analyzing the dynamics of public moods compared to the last surveys (conducted until the summer of 2023). In the coming weeks, KIIS will publish various results.

There are certain alarming trends in public moods that require separate attention and analysis. However, we consider the basic readiness of Ukrainians for territorial concessions to be fundamental, which more integrally reflects Ukrainians' sense of the current situation in the country and their own well-being. Therefore, we are opening a series of our publications with this question.

Perhaps there will be supporters of the "theory of treason" who will interpret the growth of readiness for territorial concessions as extremely pessimistic. However, we emphasize that context is important for interpretation. About 4 difficult months passed between the current survey and the previous one, with bloody battles and devastating shelling (and, in addition, with internal political tension due to corruption issues and with difficulties in relations with foreign friends). Most likely, many Ukrainians had more optimistic expectations for the beginning of autumn 2023 before the beginning of summer.

However, despite all these factors, the absolute majority of Ukrainians do not lose heart and retain confidence in the importance of continuing the fight against the enemy.



Annex 1. Formulation of questions from the questionnaire


With which of these statements regarding possible compromises to achieve peace with Russia do you agree to a greater extent? RANDOMIZATION OF READING

 (% among all respondents)

100% in a column Region: where lived until February 24, 2022 Ukraine as a whole West[1] Center South East
In order to achieve peace and preserve independence as soon as possible, Ukraine can give up some of its territories 14 9 10 21 22
Under no circumstances should Ukraine give up any of its territories, even if because of this the war will last longer and there will be threats to the preservation of independence 80 86 82 74 73


[1] The composition of the macroregions is as follows: Western macroregion – Volyn, Rivne, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Zakarpattia, Khmelnytskyi, Chernivtsi oblasts; Central macroregion – Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Sumy, Chernihiv, Poltava, Kirovohrad, Cherkasy, Kyiv oblasts, Kyiv city, Southern macroregion – Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Odesa oblasts, Eastern macroregion – Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv oblasts.

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