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Dynamics of Ukrainians' perception of the West's policy towards Ukraine

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


During February 17-23, 2024, 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), 1,052 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 temporarily not controlled by the authorities of Ukraine, and the survey was not conducted with citizens who went abroad 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 1,052 respondents, 33 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 the public moods of the population.


"The West is tired of Ukraine and wants Ukraine to negotiate with Russia"


In the wake of a full-scale invasion, KIIS regularly surveys the prevalence of various narratives that could potentially pose a threat to national security. One of these narratives is whether Ukrainians feel supported by the West or, on the contrary, Ukrainians feel that the West is ready to abandon Ukraine. According to the results of the KIIS own survey in December 2023, 87% of Ukrainians are convinced that if Ukraine is properly supported by the West (weapons, finances, sanctions), Ukraine will be able to succeed in the war against Russia. At the same time, already at the beginning of October 2023, regarding EU support, 75% of Ukrainians considered the assistance useful, but 56% considered it insufficient. Ukrainians remain optimistic about the future and believe in Victory (in February 2024, 89% believed that Ukraine would win), because they perceive the current struggle as a joint confrontation between Ukraine and the Western allies of the "axis of evil".

The spread of the narrative about the "weariness of the West" is dangerous, as it undermines the belief in victory and actually contradicts the active support of Ukraine by a number of Western countries. However, in conditions where Russia is increasing its production and receiving help from other totalitarian regimes, the current support is not enough. In addition, Western aid does not always arrive on time.


At the end of 2022, only 15% of Ukrainians believed that the West is getting tired of Ukraine, its support is weak, and that the West would like concessions from Russia to Ukraine. A year later, at the beginning of October 2023, the share of Ukrainians who believe in this reached 30%, and in February 2024 (i.e. now) - 44%. Currently, there are still more people who believe that the West continues to support Ukraine as much as possible - 49%, but this indicator decreased from 76% at the end of 2022.


Graph 1. With which of these statements do you agree to a greater extent?


In the graph below, the data are shown in a regional dimension. In all regions, the share of those who feel that the West is getting tired and its support is weak has increased significantly. It is important to note that in the South and East - the regions closest to the war zone - there are already more people who believe that the West is getting tired of Ukraine and wants to press for concessions.


Graph2. Perception of Western policy towards Ukraine in the regional dimension




A. Hrushetskyi, comments on the survey results:


Recently, on February 24, 2024, was the second anniversary of the Russian full-scale invasion. Ukraine and Ukrainians have heard many good and strong words of support from Western partners. However, already on February 25, 2024 at the forum "Ukraine. Year 2024" President V. Zelenskyi noted that currently there are 4 brigades that have not yet received the promised equipment (which was promised for the counteroffensive in 2023).

 Therefore, we call on the West to move from strong words to strong actions. Ukraine and Ukrainians retain the will to Victory, Ukraine and Ukrainians strive to continue resisting the aggressor. Ukraine and Ukrainians deserve proper support here and now.





Annex 1. Formulation of questions from the questionnaire


And with which statement regarding the West's support for Ukraine do you agree to a greater extent? RANDOMIZATION OF THE ORDER

1 The West is getting tired of Ukraine and its support becomes weaker. The West wants to press for Ukraine to make concessions to Russia
2 The West continues to seriously help Ukraine to the extent possible. The West wants the war to end on terms acceptable to Ukraine



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