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Trust in social institutions and social groups

Press-release prepared by Liana Novikova

In a period of December 4-14, 2015 Kyiv International Institute of Sociology has conducted own public opinion poll “Omnibus”. Data were collected from 2022 respondents, living in 110 settlements (PSU) in all regions of Ukraine except the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Sample is stochastic and representative for the population of Ukraine aged 18 years and above. In Luhansk region survey was conducted only on the territories controlled by Ukraine. Survey was conducted both on territories that are and that are not controlled by Ukraine in Donetsk region.

Statistical sample error (with probability of 0.95 and design–effect of 1.5) does not exceed: 3.5% for indicators close to 50%, 2,8% – for indicators close to 25%, 2,0% – for indicators close to 10%, 1.4%  – for indicators close to 5%.

The biggest trust Ukrainians have in the church and volunteers, the least – in opposition, the Government of Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and Russian media (less than 10% of Ukrainians trust these institutions). Trust in national media has decreased. In general, lower level of trust in the number of social institutions is observed amongst younger generation (up to 49 years old) and better educated part of population (Tables 5, 6), what might be an indicator of trust crisis in these social groups.

Church. Holds leading position in trust rating of Ukrainians. Has more trust from older generation (68,5%) than from younger one (51%), and also receives more trust from those who have secondary education (Tables 5, 6).

Volunteers and non-governmental organizations. More than a half of Ukrainians trust volunteers, and the balance trust-mistrust index in them is the highest amongst all institutions that were enlisted in the poll in December, 2015 (Table 1). Balance index is much smaller but still positive for non-governmental organizations, which is consistently higher comparing to the previous years (Graph 5).

Migrants. The percentage of trust in migrants is nearly the same as the percentage of mistrust in them. At the same time, older people tend to trust them more (Table 5).


Ukrainian and Russian media. Nearly third of Ukrainians trust Ukrainian media but this percentage was higher in 2014 (Graph 2), and trust-mistrust balance turned negative. Older generation (Table 5) and people with secondary education (Table 6) are relatively more likely to trust them. Russian media hold outsider position – it has the lowest rate of trust and negative trust-mistrust balance in all regions (Table 4).

Power structures. Slightly less than half of the population trust the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but trust-mistrust balance has decreased comparing to September, 2014 (Graph 2) owing to overall decrease of trust in AFU especially in Western and Eastern regions. Other security and low enforcement have negative trust-mistrust balance (Table 1), and Patrol police has more trust from Ukrainians than Security Service and National police (former militia) do. Trust-mistrust balance in National police has grown by 3% after the change from militia to police (Graph 3). As we may conclude from Table 3, population of Western region has highest trust in National police, population of Eastern region – the lowest. Other KIIS polls, that were conducted in cities where patrol police is functioning, shows people`s neutral-positive attitude to its` work and first results.

Government institutions. Government institutions (Government and VRU) receive the lowest trust rate from population of Ukraine, and have very low trust-mistrust balance. Index of this balance for Government has dropped by more than 40% (to -60%) since September, 2014 – it is even bigger negative index than it was in 2012 for Government headed by M. Azarov (Graph 4).

Trust-mistrust balance in President is slightly higher than the one in opposition, but still negative. As seen in Graph 1, during the presidency trust-mistrust balance of P. Poroshenko fell sharply and literally changed poles: from 44% in 2014 to -48% in late 2015. Mistrust in the President of Ukraine is almost equal in Western and Central regions, but is the highest in Eastern region (Table 2). Comparing to other regions, population of South region finds opposition more trustful, but trust-mistrust balance is also negative in this case (Table 2). People aged 18-49 and respondents with secondary special and higher education trust president less (Tables 5, 6). Amount of those who trust opposition is two times bigger amongst older generation than amongst younger one (Table 5).

Now I will name some of social institutions. Tell me, please, how much do you trust those which I will name?

Table 1.
Trust in social institutions, % of respondents

Social institutions Trust Mistrust Trust-mistrust balance (difference)
Volunteers 57.6 13.5 44.1
Church 58.8 18.4 40.4
Non-governmental organizations 34.5 21 13.5
Armed Forces of Ukraine 45.3 32.9 12.4
Migrants 24 25 -1
Ukrainian media 32.3 38.9 -6.6
Patrol police 20.7 35.1 -14.4
National police (former militia) 14.9 46.1 -31.2
Security Service of Ukraine 16.3 49.7 -33.4
President of Ukraine 16.8 64.9 -48.1
Opposition 8.7 65 -56.3
Government of Ukraine 8.7 75 -66.3
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine 6.2 78.6 -72.4
Russian media 4 77.6 -73.6



Graph 1 Dynamics of trust balance in the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko

Graph 2 Dynamics of trust balance in Armed Forces of Ukraine (army)

Graph 3 Dynamics of trust balance in militia (2012-2014) and National police (2015)

Graph 4 Dynamics of trust balance in the Government of Ukraine

Graph 5 Dynamics of trust balance in non-governmental organizations

Graph 6 Dynamics of trust balance in Ukrainian and Russian media


Table 2 Regional distribution of trust in president and opposition, % of respondents

Region President Opposition
Trust Mistrust Trust-mistrust balance, % Trust Mistrust Trust-mistrust balance, %
Western 20.4 58.1 -37.7 3.4 75.1 -71.7
Central 20.6 60.5 -39.9 5.1 65.8 -60.7
Southern 16.9 63.2 -46.3 14.2 54.1 -39.9
Eastern 7.1 81.0 -73.9 13.9 64.1 -50.2
Ukraine overall 16.8 64.9 -48.1 8.7 65 -56.3


Table 3 Regional distribution of trust in Armed Forces of Ukraine and National police (former militia), % of respondents

Region AFU National police
Trust Mistrust Trust-mistrust balance, % Trust Mistrust Trust-mistrust balance, %
Western 57.2 19.8 37.4 22.2 34.3 -12.1
Central 57.8 20.8 37.0 15.9 37.9 -22.0
Southern 39.8 33.4 6.4 11.6 52.0 -40.4
Eastern 19.3 64.8 -45.5 8.7 65.4 -56.7
Ukraine overall 45.3 32.9 12.4 14.9 46.1 -31.2


Table 4 Regional distribution of trust in Ukrainian and Russian media, % of respondents

Region Ukrainian media Russian media
Trust Mistrust Trust-mistrust balance, % Trust Mistrust Trust-mistrust balance, %
Western 37.0 32.3 4.7 0.4 85.5 -85.1
Central 41.8 26.5 15.3 0.8 83.8 -83.0
Southern 27.1 43.7 -16.6 5.0 76.1 -71.1
Eastern 18.4 59.0 -40.6 11.7 61.2 -49.5
Ukraine overall 32.3 38.9 -6.6 4 77.6 -73.6


Table 5 Age distribution of trust in social institutions and people, % of respondents who trust institutions/people

18-49 years old Social institution 50+
51 Church 68.5
56 Volunteers 59
42.5 Armed Forces of Ukraine 49
29 Ukrainian media 36
21 Migrants 28
15 President of Ukraine 19
6 Opposition 12.5
2.5 Russian media 6


Table 6 Distribution of trust in social institutions and people according to the level of education, % of respondents who trust institutions/people

Lower/ full secondary education Social institution Vocational/ highereducation
68.5 Church 53.5
49.5 Armed Forces of Ukraine 43
35.5 Ukrainian media 30.5
18.5 President of Ukraine 16

As for the comments please contact Liana Novikova:, mob.0934970764

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