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Overwhelming majority of Ukrainians link country's future with European prospects – survey

KYIV. March 13 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The overwhelming majority of Ukrainians surveyed associate the country’s future with European prospects, believing that both sides benefit from cooperation with the West, according to a survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) on February 14 through February 22 and on February 22 through March 6, 2023.

According to the survey, the report of which is posted on the KIIS website, in all regions of Ukraine, the absolute majority of the population believes that Ukraine’s future prosperity depends on joining the EU. In particular, among residents of the east and south, 78% and 81% think so (versus 17% and 14%, respectively, who do not agree with this statement).

At the same time, 81% of Ukrainians believe that cooperation between Ukraine and the West to repel Russian aggression is a “win-win” situation, where both Ukraine and the West benefit. Among them, 45% believe that Ukraine and the West will win equally, 29% believe that it is mostly a win for Ukraine, but there is also a win for the West. The remaining 7%, on the contrary, see an overwhelming win for the West, although Ukraine will also win.

Only 9% believe that this cooperation is only in the interests of Ukraine and only 4% believe that it is only in the interests of the West.

At the same time, sociologists draw attention to some alarming trends in the attitude of Ukrainians towards the West and Western assistance to Ukraine. Only 54% of Ukrainians believe that financial assistance should be accompanied by demands for reform. The category “owe us”, which implies the expectation of help without special conditions or restrictions (since Ukraine also protects Europe), is quite significant – 36%.

The opinion poll also showed that 88% of Ukrainians support the opinion about the need to document and preserve the true history of the war, even if it will be difficult to achieve full justice with Putin standing before an international court.

KIIS Deputy Director Anton Hrushetsky said that “the survey results show that Ukrainians understand the dream goal of EU membership as a necessary condition for Ukraine’s prosperity in the future. Ukrainians demonstrate openness in the fact that the current experience of war and repelling aggression is a win for both Ukraine and the West. The slogan “Together to Victory” for Ukrainians is not only intra-Ukrainian unity, but also unity with our foreign friends.”

“At the same time, it should be noted that a significant part of Ukrainians, with an optimistic view of European integration, considers it less important to heed the recommendations regarding reforms. This is a dangerous moment, because overcoming the external enemy does not eliminate the need for internal institutional and value transformations. We hope that the authorities, the public and Western partners will continue to work effectively as a team in the sphere of fair internal transformation of Ukraine,” Hrushetsky said.

The KIIS conducted two waves of its own all-Ukrainian public opinion survey. By the method of computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers (with random generation of phone numbers and subsequent statistical weighting), 2,007 and 985 respondents (in the first and second waves, respectively) 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.