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How do Ukrainians see the future of Ukraine in 10 years and readiness to endure material difficulties
The press release was prepared by Anton Hrushetskyi, the Deputy Director of KIIS
During October 21-23, 2022, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted its own all-Ukrainian public opinion survey "Omnibus". Bythemethodof computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers (with random generation of phone numbers and subsequent statistical weighting), 1,000 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, the city of Sevastopol, certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts), and the survey was not conducted with citizens who left the country 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 back in May, 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, we managed to interview fewer respondents living in the occupied settlements, in particular, their number is 0.3%. It is important to note that although the views of the respondents who lived in the occupation were somewhat different, the general tendencies 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 (see Annex 2).
In general, we believe that the obtained results are still highly representative and allow a fairly reliable analysis of public moods of the population.
The future of Ukraine in 10 years - "prosperous member of the EU" or "ruin"
During the interview, respondents were asked to choose which of the two scenarios for the future of Ukraine - optimistic or pessimistic - they agree with to a greater extent. As can be seen on the graph 1, 88% of Ukrainians believe that in 10 years Ukraine will be a prosperous country within the EU. At the same time, 63% among them fully share this view, and rather agree - 26%.
Instead, only 5% of respondents have pessimistic expectations that in 10 years Ukraine will be a devastated country with an outflow of people.
Graph 1. And with which of these statements regarding the future of Ukraine do you agree to a greater extent?
Graph 2 shows the data in a regional dimension - depending on where the respondents lived at the time of the survey. Although optimism is slightly decreasing from West to East, but in fact, in all regions, the absolute majority see the future of Ukraine with hope (from 90% in the West to 76% in the East). It should be taken into account that the current region of the East is the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, where the level of destruction and shelling is particularly intense. Despite this, 76% believe in a better future (and only 14% see ruin in the future). It is also important to pay attention to the South, which is also experiencing intense hostilities, but where 89% see Ukraine as successful after 10 years (with only 7% pessimists).
Graph2. The future of Ukraine in the regional dimension (where the respondents currently live)
Graph 3 shows the data depending on the age of the respondents. As can be seen, among all age categories, the absolute majority is optimistic about the future of Ukraine. In particular, among 18-29-year-olds, the indicator is 94%,
Graph3. The future of Ukraine according to age categories
On graph 4, the data are shown in the section of those who chose Ukrainian or Russian for the interview. Among the respondents who chose the Russian language for the interview, the absolute majority (77%) are optimistic about the future of Ukraine (14% are pessimists). Among the respondents who chose the Ukrainian language for the interview, 90% optimistically assess the future of Ukraine (with 4% pessimists).
Graph4. Continuation of the fight or concession depending on the chosen language of the interview
Are optimists ready to endure financial difficulties in the medium term
Respondents who optimistically see the future of Ukraine in 10 years were asked an additional question, whether they are ready to endure financial difficulties for 3-5 years in order to achieve a positive result in the future.
Among such respondents - optimists 96% are ready to endure financial difficulties for 3-5 years, if as a result Ukraine becomes a prosperous country and a member of the European Union.
Graph5. Some experts and politicians warn that after the war and victory, Ukraine will face several difficult years in terms of socio-economics. Are you personally ready or not ready to endure financial difficulties for 3-5 years, if as a result Ukraine becomes a prosperous country and a member of the European Union?
% among those who see Ukraine in 10 years as a prosperous country within the EU
A. Hrushetskyi, comments on the survey results:
We, sociologists, now often hear questions from Western journalists and experts, what exactly helps Ukrainians to hold on in the conditions of merciless terror by Russia and at the same time not to demand from own authorities to negotiate with Russia to end hostilities. At the same time, it is often a genuine surprise of Western observers regarding the resilience of Ukrainians in continuing armed resistance.
The results of this survey shed some light on this question. Yes, Ukrainians have a positive image of the future of Ukraine. And what is important is that this dream of the majority - a successful Ukraine in the family of European nations - is considered quite achievable and worth the tragic "investments" of today. Today's resilience - on the front and in civilian life - is transformed into a reward for yourself and descendants in the future. This helps to "keep order" and methodically move towards the realization of the dream.
Annex 1. Formulation of questions from the questionnaire
And with which of these statements regarding the future of Ukraine do you agree to a greater extent? WHEN THE STATEMENT WAS CHOSEN: You completely or rather agree with it? RANDOMIZATION OF STATEMENT READING
(% among all respondents)
Some experts and politicians warn that after the war and victory, Ukraine will face several difficult years in terms of socio-economics. Are you personally ready or not ready to endure financial difficulties for 3-5 years, if as a result Ukraine becomes a prosperous country and a member of the European Union?
(% among respondents who are optimistic about the future of Ukraine)
Annex 2. Methodological comments on the representativeness of telephone surveys conducted during the war
Even before the full-scale Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, there were a number of factors that negatively affected the representativeness of the polls (for example, the absence of a census for more than 20 years). A full-scale war, of course, greatly affects representativeness and complicates the work of sociologists, but does not make it impossible. Access to reliable data on the state of public moods remains relevant both for Ukrainians themselves and for our foreign partners (who, as the events of recent months have shown, often underestimated and did not understand Ukraine and Ukrainians).
At the same time, in order to maintain objectivity, it is necessary to understand what limitations the war imposes on the conduct of sociological surveys. First of all, we pay attention to large-scale population movements. In September, the UN report mentioned 7.4 million Ukrainian refugees. Obviously, due to various reasons, it is difficult to consider these data to be unequivocally accurate, but in general, the rather significant scale of departure from the country is clear. There is no exact data on how many of them are adult citizens, but, most likely, it is about half. Among about 30 million adult citizens (estimated at the time of the full-scale invasion), it can be roughly estimated that about 13-15% have left the country, and it is impossible to reliably survey these citizens using telephone interviews. Even more citizens have become internally displaced persons, but they have a much smaller impact on the quality of telephone surveys, since almost all of these citizens have mobile phones and are reachable to participate in the survey (in fact, 16% of the respondents of this survey are IDPs).
Another important problem is the accessibility for the survey of the population of the territories that were occupied after February 24, 2022, due to the conduct of intensive military operations or due to interruptions in telephone connection. Now there is practically no connection. In May, 2.5-4% of respondents lived in these territories, now in the sample of residents of these territories - 0.3%. According to our current estimates, the territory occupied by Russia as of the beginning of September (occupied after February 24, 2022) accounted for about 9% of the total adult population. Taking into account the mass exodus of the population from these territories (most likely, we are talking about at least half of the population), we estimate that no more than 3-5% of the total adult population of Ukraine were inaccessible due to connection problems. Successful actions and the liberation of a number of territories in the Kharkiv region further reduce this percentage.
In our opinion, a more significant impact on representativeness can be either a generally lower willingness of citizens with "pro-Russian" attitudes to participate in surveys, or the insincerity of those who did take part in the survey (taking into account the obvious facts and prevailing opinions in the media regarding the Russian invasion , some citizens will not want to say what they really think "in public"). If to talk about the general willingness of respondents to participate in the survey, then in recent surveys we see either the same indicators or somewhat lower (although it should be borne in mind that the lower willingness to participate of "pro-Russian" citizens can be compensated by the higher willingness to participate of "pro-Ukrainian"-minded citizens).
We conducted a methodical experiment in May, which shows that the citizens who are currently participating in the surveys in terms of demographic characteristics and meaningful attitudes are close to those who participated in the surveys until February 24, 2022. Preliminarily, we see some shift in the direction of "pro-Ukrainian"-minded citizens, which is reflected in up to 5-7% deviations for individual questions (in the direction of more frequent selection of answers that correspond to the "pro-Ukrainian" interpretation of events). In our opinion, in the current conditions, this is a rather optimistic indicator. However, this experiment does not give an answer as to how sincere the respondents are now in their answers.
Taking into account our own observations and the experience of conducting surveys over many years, we still remain optimistic that, for the most part, respondents answer the questions sincerely. For example, the "imagined acquaintance" experiment shows little difference with the direct question. In addition, we assume that the demographic categories of citizens who have gone abroad and are unreachable for a telephone survey, at least now, do not differ very significantly in terms of a number of substantive attitudes from similar demographic categories of citizens who have remained in Ukraine.
As a result, in our opinion, we should talk about a certain decrease in representativeness and an increase in error (in addition to the previously mentioned formal error, a certain systematic deviation is added due to the factors considered above), but at the same time, the obtained results still retain high representativeness and allow for a fairly reliable analysis of public moods of the population.
 The composition of the macroregions is as follows: Western macroregion – Volyn, Rivne, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Zakarpattia, Khmelnytskyi, Chernivtsi oblasts; Central macroregion – Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Sumy, Chernihiv, Poltava, Kirovohrad, Cherkasy, Kyiv oblasts, Kyiv city, Southern macroregion – Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Odesa oblasts, Eastern macroregion – Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv oblasts.