sociological and

ESC or click to close

Ukrainians are going to a united political nation or to a split

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


From November 29 to December 9, 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), 1,031 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 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, Sevastopol, certain districts of 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 3.4% 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. KMIS 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.


Unity or split?


Efforts to organize internal discord and polarize Ukrainians along possible lines of split remain one of Russia's main tools in the war against Ukraine. Previously, KIIS had already published the results of a survey regarding, for example, whether Ukrainians believe in various narratives of the "split" (such as "the West is tired of Ukraine" or "the government is ready for unaccepted compromises")[1]. In December 2023, we asked the question, how do Ukrainians themselves assess the dynamics of the situation with the unity of the country - are we moving towards a united political nation or, on the contrary, are the contradictions deepening and we are heading for a split? At the same time, we asked a similar question in 2020, which allows us to assess how public moods have actually changed.

Graph 1 shows the corresponding results. As can be seen, in 2020, only 35% of Ukrainians believed that the country was on the path of unification, while 58%, on the contrary, perceived the current situation as a movement towards split. After the large-scale invasion, the views of Ukrainians changed radically. By the end of 2023, the majority of Ukrainians - 69% - held the opinion that Ukrainians are gradually overcoming contradictions and are on the way to a united political nation. The share of those who see the deepening of contradictions and split has decreased to 25%. The remaining 6% could not decide on their opinion.


Graph1. Which of these statements do you agree with to a greater extent?




* In 2020, due to a different socio-political context, the wordings were close in terms of content, but somewhat different: "Ukraine as a country is being stitched together, is on the path of unification" and "Ukraine as a country is falling apart, is on the way to a split".



In all regions, the majority of the population believes that Ukrainians are overcoming internal contradictions and are following the path of unity. Relatively more of them are in the West (74%) and in the Center (39%). At the same time, in the South and the East, a convincing majority sees the consolidation into a single political nation (respectively, 66% and 65%).


Graph2. Unity or split in the regional dimension


Also, regardless of the language of communication at home, the majority of respondents believe that Ukrainians overcome internal contradictions. Although the share of such respondents is slightly higher among Ukrainian-speaking respondents (75%), the majority (60%) of Russian-speaking respondents are optimistic about the unity of Ukrainians.


Graph3. Unity or split in terms of the language of communication at home




A. Hrushetskyi, comments on the survey results:


On January 22, Ukraine celebrates the Day of Unity. The formation of a single Ukrainian nation took place in the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. The occupation of Crimea, the war in Donbas, and the eventual large-scale invasion did not create the Ukrainian nation, as some believe, but they certainly significantly accelerated the processes of nation-building.

According to the results of numerous surveys, we see the overcoming of regional differences and indeed the processes of "stitching" Ukraine from the West to the East, from the North to the South. The unity of Ukrainians is an important factor of stability, thanks to which Ukraine is worthily resisting the Russian onslaught. It is important that the majority of Ukrainians themselves now feel the national unity and "stitching" of the country. It is necessary both to resist Russian attempts to provoke a split in society, and for Ukrainians themselves to be responsible and work for the unity of the country. The responsibility for preserving and strengthening unity is collective - both the government and the opposition, and businessmen, and journalists, and public activists, and ordinary citizens are responsible. In a democratic society, there will always be debatable issues with different points of view and different accompanying arguments. Therefore, it is fundamentally important not to resort to "ideological" polarization, but to keep open and constructive channels of communication.

One of the most important lessons of the liberation struggles of the first half of the 20th century is that success cannot be achieved without unity. We understand the vain aspirations of individual representatives of the government and the opposition, individual businessmen, journalists and public activists to prove their rightness at any cost. However, it is always better to prove one's rightness in a free, united, democratic Ukraine than to express one's reasoning in a memoir in forced exile abroad after the defeat of the entire country.



Annex 1. Formulation of questions from the questionnaire


We would also like to hear your thoughts on certain desirable aspects of Ukrainian society. Now I will read out pairs of statements, and you tell me which of the statements you agree with to a greater extent. RANDOMIZATION OF THE ORDER OF STATEMENT PAIRS AND STATEMENTS WITHIN PAIRS

1 Ukrainians are gradually overcoming internal contradictions and are on the path to a united political nation
2 Internal contradictions among Ukrainians are only deepening and Ukrainians are heading for a split



Go up | Back