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Dynamics of perception of the direction of affairs in Ukraine and trust in certain institutions between May 2022 and October 2023
The press release was prepared by Anton Hrushetskyi, executive director of KIIS
From September 30 to October 13, 2023, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted an all-Ukrainian public opinion survey "Omnibus", which included questions about the direction of affairs in Ukraine and trust in certain institutions. Bythemethodofcomputer-assistedtelephoneinterviews(CATI) based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers (with random generation of phone numbers and subsequent statistical weighting), 2,007 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 Ukrainian authorities until February 24, 2022). Residents of temporarily occupied territories could not be included in the sample, and the survey was not conducted with citizens abroad.
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. However, despite certain factors that may affect the quality of the results in "wartime" conditions, in general, we believe that the obtained results still retain a high degree of representativeness and allow a fairly reliable analysis of the public mood of the population.
Also, the press release compares the current mood of the population with the mood of the population as of May 2022 (according to the results of a survey conducted by KIIS on May 23-27, 2023 and in the framework of which 1,201 respondents were interviewed by the method of telephone interviews).
Direction of affairs in Ukraine
Between May 2022 and October 2023, the number of those who believe that affairs in Ukraine are developing in the right direction decreased from 68% to 60% (in particular, from 32% to 17%, those who say that things are definitely in the right direction decreased), however, currently most Ukrainians are optimistic about the country's path.
At the same time, the share of those who believe that things are going in the wrong direction has increased from 16% to 29%.
Graph 1. In your opinion, affairs in Ukraine are developing in the wrong or right direction?
Regardless of the region of residence, approximately the same share of the population (58-61%) believes that affairs in Ukraine are moving in the right direction. Also, in all regions, 27-31% believe that affairs, on the contrary, are moving in the wrong direction.
Graph 2. Direction of affairs in the regional dimension
Trust in certain institutions
From May to 2022 to October 2023, among the institutions on the list, the Armed Forces of Ukraine and volunteers retain unconditional trust. So, currently 94% of Ukrainians trust the Armed Forces (98% in May 2022), and 87% trust volunteers (87% in May 2022).
At the same time, during this period, a decrease in trust in central government institutions can be observed: from 91% to 76%, fewer people trust the President, from 74% to 39% - the Government, from 58% to 21% - the Parliament. However, it is important to distinguish between the situation for the Government and the Parliament, where we see the majority no longer trusting (and the balance of trust-distrust is clearly negative), and for the President, where the vast majority continue to trust him (and the balance of trust-distrust is clearly positive).
Trust in local government has not changed: as in May 2022, now 50% trust it, and 46% do not trust it.
Also, for the period from May 2022 to October 2023, there is a decrease in trust in the “Yedyni Novyny” Telethon. Although Telethon maintains a positive trust-distrust balance, at the same time, those who trust him have decreased from 69% to 48% (and instead, those who do not trust him have increased from 12% to 39%).
Graph 3. To what extent do you trust or not trust the following institutions and organizations?
In all regions, the absolute majority of the population trusts the Armed Forces, volunteers and the President. Trust in other institutions is also roughly the same in different regions.
Table 1. Trust in institutions in the regional dimension
A. Hrushetskyi, comments on the survey results:
Although Ukrainians have become more critical in their views compared to the period of the beginning of the invasion, it is important that the unity in the attitude towards the Defense Forces of Ukraine, volunteers, and the mostly favorable attitude towards the President is maintained.
A little earlier, at the beginning of the summer, KIIS published results according to which 73% of Ukrainians would like to renew the central government after the Victory, although it was mostly about the Government and the Parliament, and with regard to the President, a minority of citizens would like to replace him. The level of trust in institutions shows that, at present, citizens' criticism is primarily focused on the Government and the Verkhovna Rada and to a lesser extent on the President. It is also important in this context that certain criticism is not transformed into a demand for elections. On the contrary, the majority of Ukrainians believe that the elections are not on time and the priority is Victory.
It is important to pay attention to the rather significant criticism of local authorities. The current criticism is apparently largely related to the possibly inefficient spending of local budgets. Although the decentralization reform is perceived by Ukrainians as one of the most successful reforms (and most of them support it), there is currently a dangerous trend of forming the image of local authorities as not very responsible in the conditions of a full-scale war. As a result, public opinion may not protect local authorities from possible re-centralization and the collapse of decentralization.
The attitude towards the "Yedyni Novyny" Telethon is notable. As we can see, in May 2022, the majority trusted him, and in the summer of 2022, in another KIIS survey, 65% of Ukrainians answered that "the activity of the "Yedyni Novyny" Telethon is currently a successful initiative that unites Ukrainians and contributes to the formation of a common view of events." Now we see a decrease in confidence, although not so critical. However, in any case, the current dynamics show the public's request for a rethinking of the functioning of the Telethon, and with the current indicators of trust, there is a window of opportunity for the implementation of transformations approved by the public.
Annex 1. Formulation of questions from the questionnaire
In your opinion, affairs in Ukraine are developing in the wrong or right direction?
To what extent do you trust or not trust the following institutions and organizations?