sociological and

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The European Union Advisory Mission in Ukraine commissioned KIIS to conduct a nationwide survey. From September 4 to September 20, 2023 via computer-assisted personal interviews 2,005 respondents living in all regions of Ukraine that are under the control of the Government of Ukraine (except Khersonska and Donetska oblasts) were interviewed. The survey was conducted with adult (aged 18 and older) citizens of Ukraine.

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 1.5) did not exceed 3.3%.


The full survey results are in this presentation.


Below are some results of the survey:


General sociopolitical views and opinions and sources of information

  • After the large-scale invasion in Ukraine, one may observe the effect of “rallying around the flag”: trust in state bodies, especially in the President, has increased significantly. So, currently 73% of respondents trust the President (21% – distrust), 54% – trust the Government (38% – distrust), 49% of respondents trust regional administrations (34% – distrust), 51% - trust local authorities (38 % – distrust).
  • 50% of respondents trust non-governmental organizations, 31% – do not trust them. Although the trust-distrust balance is positive, the significant proportion of those who do not trust is a cause for concern.
  • 65% of respondents trust the EU (25% – do not trust), and 59% – trust NATO (28% – do not trust). A significant share of those who do not trust may be related to the feeling that Ukraine's support during the invasion was insufficient (or insufficiently fast or decisive).
  • Despite significant destruction and economic losses, the level of self-assessment of family wealth has practically not changed compared to 2021 (in particular, both now and in 2021, the share of those who are forced to save even on food is 17%). It is possible that respondents in difficult conditions lowered their sights (especially when there is an opportunity to compare with those in even worse conditions). However, as before, respondents mostly tend to value their wealth at low rate. It is important to note that women and older people are more vulnerable and have worse assessment of their situation.
  • 21% of respondents at least occasionally need psychological support to overcome challenges related to the invasion (somewhat more this applies to women). A particularly significant request for support is among residents of Eastern Ukraine, where 53% feel such a need.
  • In addition, 50% of respondents note deterioration of their sense of safety after the beginning of the large-scale invasion.
  • There are widespread feelings among respondents about possible conflicts between those who left Ukraine and those who stayed. Thus, about half of the respondents expect that the attitude may be different towards different categories of citizens (54%) and expect that some problems may arise (52%). Besides, half of the respondents expect that the authorities may adopt laws unfavorable to refugees (49%). At the same time, every third respondent (36%) considers a likely scenario in which refugees will be perceived by the society as traitors.
  • As for information sources, we can state a transition from dominance of television and several TV channels to predominance of Internet sources and significant fragmentation of the media landscape. For example, 44% of respondents now obtain information from Telegram channels, 43% – from television (senior respondents), 36% – from YouTube channels, 34% – from online news publications. Other KIIS surveys show that there are no unequivocal leaders among the same Telegram channels, and respondents name hundreds or thousands of different channels. At the same time, there is a request among respondents for quick and concise format of information presentation (with short texts or videos).
  • At the same time, 49% of respondents trust Ukrainian mass media, 43% – do not trust them.



Ukraine and the European Union

  • 77% of respondents say that they find important that Ukraine becomes a member of the EU (51% of them say that it is very important for them). At the same time, from West to East, the share of those for whom it is important that Ukraine becomes a member of the EU decreases – from 86% to 62% (in particular, from 61% to 24%, there are fewer for whom it is very important). Although in general, across all regions, the majority consider this topic as important.
  • At the same time, 60% of respondents insist that Ukraine defend its interests and are ready that joining the EU may be delayed for a certain period. In contrast to them, 27% of respondents believe that it is necessary to fulfill all EU requirements to join the EU as soon as possible.
  • Respondents have quite conservative assessments of Ukraine's readiness to join the EU. For example, only 22% of them consider Ukraine fully ready, and 43% – speak tactfully about the need for reforms. Another 25% of respondents believe that Ukraine is not ready at all.
  • 73% of respondents obtain information about the EU’s efforts to help Ukraine during the war on a regular basis (at least once a week).
  • At the same time, there is an opposite perception of the usefulness and sufficiency of aid. Although 75% recognize aid as useful, while only 34% consider it sufficient (and 56% believe that EU aid is insufficient).
  • 46% of respondents would like the EUAM to help with the fight against corruption, 38% – with prosecuting international crimes, 33% – to help de-occupied territories, 31% – to advise on joining the EU.



Perception of the reforms in Ukraine

  • The vast majority of respondents critically assess the authorities’ efforts to carry out reforms – only 19% consider the efforts sufficient (in 2021 it was 15%). Instead, 71% of respondents consider efforts insufficient (in 2021 it was 76%).
  • At the same time, the respondents observe insufficient coverage of the reforms in the media – only 15% believe that the reform process is well covered in the media, another 45% consider the coverage to be partial. The awareness level of individual reforms / tasks is also low.
  • At the same time, the biggest request is for fighting corruption. Among the 10 reforms/tasks, 90% of respondents include anti-corruption activities in the top 3, in particular, 58% of them consider it the #1 task for Ukraine. Other top reforms: tasks related to the war (77% count in the top 3) and reform of the judiciary (43%). 26% of respondents talk about ensuring human rights, and 21% about the reform of law enforcement agencies.



Perception of the situation in the sphere of public safety and the rule of law by the population of Ukraine

  • Compared to 2021, trust among Ukrainians in most bodies in the public security sector has increased significantly. Thus, for the National Guard, trust increased from 50% to 72%, for the SSU – from 23% to 59%, for the NPU – from 30% to 56%, for the NSDC – from 27% to 49%. It is important that in relation to SSU and NPU we see a change in trend from “mostly do not trust” to “mostly trust”. When it comes to the NPU, 68% believe that the police can prevent crimes, and 55% believe that they can investigate them (increase in figures compared to 2021). Such a significant increase in trust is most likely a consequence of the established association between these bodies and the defense of the country, which means these bodies are perceived as elements of confronting and chasing out the enemy.
  • The situation with the trust of the SBGSU requires special attention. The body maintains the predominance of trust, but the trust index itself decreased from 54% to 49%. In 2021, the SBGSU was actually the leader in terms of trust, and now it has begun to lose ground to other bodies, although the SBGSU is a very important component of the Defense Forces. Perhaps, due to the mass migration of the population abroad, more people have had direct and indirect experience of crossing the border. As a result, the SBGSU may be perceived by a large part of people no longer as a member of the Defense Forces, but as an institution operating on the Western border.
  • The difficult situation regarding trust remains with the prosecutor's office, the State Customs Service, NABU and the judiciary. Although the level of trust in them has also increased, it still remains low (25-32%) and at the same time more people do not trust them. As for other questions, only 31-38% of respondents answered that courts and prosecutors are able to punish fairly (and the belief in this has become even lower than it was in 2021). In addition, only 33% consider anti-corruption bodies to be effective in the fight against corruption. It can be said that in the current turbulent period there is a certain “window of opportunity” for these bodies to transform the attitude towards them (especially if there is a certain positive trend). However, at the same time, the society’s demand for more visible efforts on their part is perceivable.
  • In the context of recent public discussions about financial declaration, it is appropriate to note the increase in share (36% to 47% have) of those who consider financial declaration to be an effective anti-corruption tool (while currently 41% do not think so).
  • Among other bodies, the Ministry of Internal Affairs is trusted by 42%, while 39% do not trust it, the SBI – 39% versus 32%. When it comes to ESBU, the indicators are 27% against 32%, but 41% of respondents do not have a formed opinion about this body.
  • It is important to pay attention to more positive evaluations among younger people, and much more critical (except for the National Police) assessments in the East of Ukraine.
  • Respondents overwhelmingly claim that access to law enforcement services has not changed since the invasion. At the same time, 14% talk about improvement of access, 8% – worsening  of access.
  • No more than a quarter of respondents follow the official communication channels of public security agencies at least from time to time (relatively the most people talk about SSU, NPU, NGU, SBGSU). Given that mostly respondents do not personally contact such bodies, their impression is formed through other media channels.
  • 20% of respondents contacted the National Police between January and mid-September 2023. Among those contacted, 74% responded that police representatives behaved fairly and without prejudice, and 90% reported that no bribes were directly or indirectly demanded from them.
  • 62% of respondents say they feel safe walking in their neighborhood (increase from 56% in 2021). At the same time, 62% worry about their property when they are not at home (in 2021 it was 69%). If among men 71% feel safe on the street, then among women – 55%.
  • Despite the slight improvement, the situation with the rule of law remains acute. 68% of respondents believe that to achieve justice, someone must be paid (in 2021 it was 65%). Instead, only 32% believe that respondents are actually capable of resisting abuse by officials (32%, in 2021 – 27%), that an ordinary person can achieve justice in Ukraine (29%, in 2021 – 25%). Moreover, women have a worse perception of their opportunities to counter the abuse of officials.



Human rights, gender, and discrimination

  • Although compared to 2021, there were more people who believe that the police respect the human rights of suspects, but still only 38% do. At the same time, 43% of respondents believe that the police do not respect the human rights of suspects.
  • 85% of respondents (the same number in 2021) believe that women and men are equally qualified to work in the public safety sector.
  • For 72% of respondents, domestic violence is a serious problem that requires special measures (in 2021 it was 78%). Among women, 77% consider violence to be a particular problem (among men - 65%). At the same time, only 55% believe that the police are able to effectively fight gender-based violence and domestic violence.
  • Although the majority of respondents (65%) believe that equality between women and men has not changed since the invasion, 19% see positive changes (compared to only 5% who say it has worsened). At the same time, regarding the response of the police to gender-based violence and domestic violence, 9% note an improvement in the situation and 6% – a deterioration (58% believe that nothing has changed, and another 27% could not answer the question).
  • Quite a lot of people believe that in Ukraine people are discriminated against on a certain basis. Most respondents (45%) talk about discrimination based on language. The second place – 34% – on sexual grounds. About a quarter of respondents talk about discrimination on grounds of disability, age, ethnicity, gender.

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