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Direction of affairs in the country and trust in political figures


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


From December 4 to 10, 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 the country and trust in certain political figures. Bythemethodofcomputer-assistedtelephoneinterviews(CATI) based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers (with random generation of phone numbers and subsequent statistical weighting), 1,200 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). 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 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 3.2% for indicators close to 50%, 2.7% for indicators close to 25%, 2.1% - for indicators close to 10%, 1.4% - for indicators close to 5%.

Under conditions of war, in addition to the specified formal error, a certain systematic deviation is added. KIIS previously cited factors that can affect the quality of results in "wartime" conditions.

In general, we believe that the obtained results are still highly representative for the population of Ukraine living in the territory under the control of the Government, and allow a fairly reliable analysis of the public moods of the population.



Direction of affairs in Ukraine


In Ukraine, the share of those who believe that affairs are developing in the right direction continues to decrease, although the majority of the population is still optimistic about the situation. Between May 2022 and October 2023, the share of those who believe affairs are moving in the right direction decreased from 68% to 60%, and by December 2023 it had decreased to 54%. In particular, the share of those who are definitely convinced of the correctness of the direction decreased over the entire period from 32% to 13%.  

At the same time, the share of those who believe that affairs are going in the wrong direction has increased from 16% in May 2022 to 29% in October 2023 and to 32% in December 2023 (although the share of those who are definitely convinced that the direction is wrong is 12%).


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 (50-58%) believes that affairs in Ukraine are moving in the right direction (and the share of those who think so outweighs the share of those who see the wrong path of the country's development).


Graph2. Direction of affairs in the regional dimension


Trust in political figures


Respondents were asked the question "To what extent do you trust or not trust the following Ukrainian public figures?" If you don't know him or her, say so.", where the respondents had to choose "completely do not trust", "rather do not trust", "rather trust" and "completely trust". The "difficult to say" option was not read, but it could be marked if the respondent himself insisted on it. This is an important methodological point, because previously we published data on trust in public institutions, where the option "difficult to say" was read (and besides, institutions are perceived a little differently than personalities). In the case of the President, it was chosen by many respondents, who, in the absence of it, as can be seen in the graph below, rather choose "trust" (that is why the trust index in the graph 3 is noticeably higher)[1].


So, among the 9 politicians we asked about, the most trusted is V. Zelenskyi, who is trusted by 77% of Ukrainians (although the trust indicator is down from 90% in May 2022), and do not trust - 22% (in May 2022, the indicator was 7%). Next comes S. Prytula, who is trusted by 69%, do not trust - 25% (trust indicators have slightly deteriorated compared to May 2022). V. Klychko also belongs to the top three leaders in terms of trust, with 52% trust and 43% distrust. However, in the case of V. Klychko, there is a rather significant decrease in trust - in May 2022, 74% trusted him, 18% did not trust him.

Thus, if we ask about (dis)trust in the President (as an institution) and immediately say that the respondent has "difficult to say" among the answer options for choosing, 62% answer that they trust him, 20% – "difficult to say", 18 % - do not trust. If we ask about the trust in V. Zelenskyi (as a personality) and we do not offer the option "it is difficult to say" (and we mark it only at the proactive insistence of the respondent), 77% answer that they trust him, 1% - "difficult to say", 22% - do not trust Reading or not reading the option "difficult to say" has an effect, and besides that, V. Zelenskyi as a personality can be perceived more clearly by average respondents than the more abstract institution of the President of Ukraine.

Next comes a group of politicians who are trusted by a fairly significant share of respondents, although they have a negative trust-distrust balance (that is, more people do not trust them than trust them). Thus, 33% of respondents trust A. Yermak, 51% do not trust him (in May 2022, the ratio was 43% versus 23%, i.e. trusted him much more). P. Poroshenko is the only one on the list whose trust indicators are now better than in May 2022. Yes, 27% now trust the former President, 68% do not (in May 2022, the ratio was 16% versus 80%). Also in this group, D. Razumkov, who is trusted by 25%, is not trusted by 37% (in May 2022 it was 35% against 25%), although in his case it should be taken into account that 33% do not know him.

Yu. Tymoshenko, Yu. Boiko and O. Arestovych were also on the list. 10% trust Yu. Tymoshenko now, 87% do not trust her (in May 2022, 18% trusted her, 74% did not). 9% trust Yu. Boiko, 71% do not trust him (previously the ratio was 11% against 66%).

The attitude towards O. Arestovych became diametrically opposed. In May 2022, the majority of Ukrainians trusted him - 62% against 21% who did not trust him. As of December 2023, 11% trust him, 78% do not trust him.


Graph3. To what extent do you trust or not trust the following Ukrainian public figures? If you don't know him or her, say so.


The table below shows the current level of trust in political figures in the regional section.


Table 1. Trust in political figures in the regional dimension

% in a row West Center South East
Trust Do not trust Trust Do not trust Trust Do not trust Trust Do not trust
Volodymyr Zelenskyi 81 18 74 24 78 21 72 28
Serhii Prytula 66 29 72 22 69 23 61 28
Vitalii Klychko 58 39 52 43 49 44 42 55
Andrii Yermak 33 54 32 53 36 47 34 48
Petro Poroshenko 27 65 32 65 19 74 23 73
Dmytro Razumkov 19 47 29 35 26 32 21 33
Oleksii Arestovych 7 80 13 76 13 79 9 79
Yuliia Tymoshenko 9 91 11 86 11 83 11 88
Yurii Boiko 7 77 8 74 13 64 12 57



A. Hrushetskyi, comments on the survey results:


The optimism of Ukrainians is becoming more "reserved", that is why we see a decrease in the share of those who believe that the direction of the country's development is correct. However, given the extremely difficult year and the high uncertainty about the future, the fact that most people think the direction of affairs is right is a pretty good indicator for society.

At the same time, the public's trust in individual politicians is actually a good reason for them to once again feel the mood of Ukrainians and carefully consider their future. It is possible to argue about the (un)reasonableness of trust or distrust of a certain politician, but if we record a consistently high level of mistrust and society's demand for new leaders (only this time more competent, more transparent and accountable), we should not expect a sharp change, that is, that the Ukrainians will start sharply to trust ("the rallying around the flag" and growing of trust in V. Zelenskyi is a unique case). Perhaps such politicians should transform their activities into other socially useful directions - promote Ukraine abroad, stimulate the Ukrainian economy, engage in visionary work, support the development of youth leadership initiatives, et.




Annex 1. Formulation of questions from the questionnaire


To what extent do you trust or not trust the following Ukrainian public figures? If you don't know him or her, say so. RANDOMIZATION OF READING

  Completely do NOT trust Rather do NOT trust Rather trust Completely trust DIFFICULT TO SAY (DO NOT READ) REFUSAL TO ANSWER (DO NOT READ) DON'T KNOW SUCH (DO NOT READ)
Oleksii Arestovych 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Yurii Boiko 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Yermak Andrii 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Volodymyr Zelenskyi 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Vitalii Klychko 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Petro Poroshenko 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Serhii Prytula 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Dmytro Razumkov 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Yuliia Tymoshenko 1 2 3 4 5 6 7



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