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Thoughts and views of the population on teaching the Russian language in Ukrainian-speaking schools and granting autonomy as a part of Ukraine to the uncontrolled territories of Donbas: March 2019

On February 28 – March 11, 2019, Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted an all-Ukrainian public opinion poll by the client`s request. Data were collected from 2004 respondents living in 129 settlements in all oblasts of Ukraine (except for the AR of Crimea) with the method of personal interviewing. The sample was stochastic, 4-staged with quota selection on the last stage, and is representative of the population of Ukraine aged 18 and above.

In Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts survey was conducted only in the territories that are controlled by the Ukrainian government.

The statistical sampling error (with a probability of 0.95 and for a design effect of 1.5) does not exceed: 4.7% — for indexes close to 50%, 4.1% — for indexes close to 25%, 2.9% — for indexes close to 10%, 2.1% — for indexes close to 5%.

           

Language practices and attitude to teaching the Russian language in Ukrainian-speaking schools

  • 46% of the Ukrainians speak mostly or only the Ukrainian language with their closest relatives i.e. parents, grandparents, brothers, and sisters (including 32.4% who speak only Ukrainian). Also, 28.1% of the Ukrainians speak mostly or only Russian language (including 15.8% who communicate only in Russian). Another 24.9% of the Ukrainians speak Ukrainian and Russian in equal proportion. Also, 0,2% speak other languages, 0.7% were undecided or refused to answer the question.
  • Answers of the respondents to the question “In your opinion, how much time should be devoted to learning the Russian language in Ukrainian-speaking schools?” were distributed in the following way:
    • 29.9% – the same amount of time as to learning Ukrainian;
    • 25.9% – less time than to learning Ukrainian but more time than to learning foreign languages (English, German, etc.);
    • 25.4% – same or less amount of time than to learning foreign languages (English, German, etc.)
    • 7.8% – no need to study it at all;
    • 11% were hesitating or refused to answer.
  • At the same time, the question about the Russian language in Ukrainian-language schools in a similar formulation was asked by KIIS in a survey in 1998, which allows assessing 20 years` dynamics of the opinion. The table below shows a comparison of surveys` results from 1998 and 2019. As you can see, in the course of 20 years, the proportion of those who believe that the same amount of time as to the Ukrainian language should be devoted to studying the Russian language has declined from 46% to 29.9%. Also, the proportion of those who believe that studying Russian should take less time than studying Ukrainian but more time than studying other foreign languages declined from 31.5% to 25.9%. Instead, the proportion of those who believe that it is necessary to study Russian to a lesser extent than other foreign languages has increased from 16.7% to 25.4%, and also now 7.8% of respondents choose the option "no need to study it at all".

 

  1998 2019
Same amount of time as to learning Ukrainian 46.0 29.9
Less time than to learning Ukrainian but more time than to learning foreign languages (English, German, etc.) 31.5 25.9
Same or less amount of time than to learning foreign languages (English, German, etc.) 16.7 25.4
No need to study it at all * --- 7.8
Other* 0.4 ---
Hard to say/Denial 5.3 11.0

* There was no option “no need to study it at all” in the survey from 1998 but there was an option “other”.

 

  • At least partly, this dynamics could be explained by that survey from 1998 included AR of Crimea and all territories of Donbas. The comparison of the results from 1998 and 2019 but only for the territory of Ukraine without the AR of Crimea and Donbas is presented in the table below.
Without Donbas and AR of Crimea 1998 2019
Same amount of time as to learning Ukrainian 39.7 26.9
Less time than to learning Ukrainian but more time than to learning foreign languages (English, German, etc.) 34.1 26.9
Same or less amount of time than to learning foreign languages (English, German, etc.) 20.6 27.0
No need to study it at all * --- 8.3
Other* 0.5 ---
Hard to say/Denial 5.1 10.9

* There was no option “no need to study it at all” in the survey from 1998 but there was an option “other”.

 

Granting an autonomy as a part of Ukraine to uncontrolled territories of Donbas for a peaceful resolution of the conflict

  • In the course of the poll, respondents were asked the question: "If granting an autonomy as a part of Ukraine to uncontrolled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (DPR and LPR) was necessary to stop military actions and for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Donbas, would you support such proposal?". According to the results, 51% of the Ukrainians would rather or fully support such proposal (including 28% – fully support), 24% – would not support (including 15% – would not support for sure). Another 25% of the respondents were hesitating or refused to answer the question.

 

Addition 1. Formulation of the questions from the questionnaire

If granting an autonomy as a part of Ukraine to uncontrolled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (DPR and LPR) was necessary to stop military actions and for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Donbas, would you support such proposal?
(% among all respondents)
 
100% in a column Ukraine in general West Center South East Donbas
Would support for sure 28.0 13.4 23.3 41.7 42.2 43.2
Would rather support 23.0 22.0 19.1 25.0 29.7 23.5
Rather would not support 8.8 9.1 12.6 2.9 6.6 4.5
Would not support for sure 15.2 28.8 14.4 10.4 5.1 4.5
HARD TO SAY 22.9 25.8 27.7 18.8 13.5 22.7
DENIAL FROM ANSWERING 2.1 0.9 2.9 1.3 2.9 1.5
 
What language do you speak with your closest relatives (include your parents, grandparents, brothers, and sisters) most often?
 (% among all respondents)
 
100% in a column Ukraine in general West Center South East Donbas
Only Ukrainian 32.4 80.1 26.3 10.8 4.2 0.0
Mostly Ukrainian 13.6 12.1 21.8 8.3 9.1 0.0
Both Ukrainian and Russian. equally often 24.9 4.5 32.8 32.1 36.3 16.7
Mostly Russian 12.3 0.9 13.8 15.4 21.3 15.9
Only Russian 15.8 0.6 4.7 32.5 28.2 66.7
Other language 0.2 0.4 0.1 0.0 0.2 0.0
Do not have relatives 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.2 0.0
HARD TO SAY 0.4 0.9 0.1 0.8 0.2 0.0
DENIAL FROM ANSWERING 0.2 0.4 0.1 0.0 0.2 0.8
 
 
In your opinion. how much time should be devoted to learning the Russian language in Ukrainian-speaking schools?
(% among all respondents)
 
100% in a column Ukraine in general West Center South East Donbas
Same amount of time as to learning Ukrainian 29.9 7.6 15.8 57.1 52.9 73.5
Less time than to learning Ukrainian but more time than to learning foreign languages (English. German. etc.) 25.9 11.4 38.8 28.3 25.7 12.1
Same or less amount of time than to learning foreign languages (English. German. etc.) 25.4 45.3 29.2 7.9 11.0 2.3
No need to study it at all 7.8 22.3 4.7 0.8 0.7 0.0
HARD TO SAY 10.3 12.7 11.2 5.8 8.1 11.4
DENIAL FROM ANSWERING 0.6 0.8 0.3 0.0 1.5 0.8

15.3.2019
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