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Trust in military commanders and attitude to the possible resignation of V. Zaluzhnyi
The press release was prepared by Anton Hrushetskyi, executive director of KIIS
During December 4-10, 2023, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted an all-Ukrainian public opinion survey "Omnibus", which included questions about trust in military commanders and about the possible resignation of V. Zaluzhnyi. Bythemethodofcomputer-assistedtelephoneinterviews(CATI) based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers (with random generation of phone numbers and subsequent statistical weighting), 1,200 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 Ukrainian authorities 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 abroad.
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 3.2% for indicators close to 50%, 2.7% for indicators close to 25%, 2.1% - for indicators close to 10%, 1.4% - for indicators close to 5%.
Under conditions of war, in addition to the specified formal error, a certain systematic deviation is added. KIIS previously cited factors that can affect the quality of results in "wartime" conditions.
In general, we believe that the obtained results are still highly representative for the population of Ukraine living in the territory under the control of the Government, and allow a fairly reliable analysis of the public moods of the population.
Trust in military commanders
Earlier this week, KMIS published the results of a survey, according to which absolute trust in the Armed Forces of Ukraine remains at 96% (the same amount was in December 2022). There was also a question about trust in Commander-in-Chief V. Zaluzhnyi, who is trusted by 88%.
In the other part of the survey (another sample of respondents) at the same time, the question "To what extent do you trust or not trust the following Ukrainian public figures?" If you don't know him or her, say so." (with a slightly different scale than the above-mentioned survey on trust in institutions). The list of surnames also included V. Zaluzhnyi, K. Budanov and O. Syrskyi (however, without a description of their positions or type of activity, that is, only the first and last name). The graph below shows the trust indicators.
As can be seen, all three mentioned military commanders are highly trusted by the population, and the difference in the shares of trust is more a measure of the different level of awareness about them. Thus, among all respondents in general, 92% trust V. Zaluzhnyi, 60% - K. Budanov (but 18% do not know him), 33% - O. Syrskyi (but 48% do not know him).
Counting among those who know these commanders, 94% trust V. Zaluzhnyi, 73% trust K. Budanov, and 63% trust O. Syrskyi. At the same time, the level of distrust among those who know them is 5% for V. Zaluzhnyi, 24% for K. Budanov, 29% for O. Syrskyi.
Graph 1. To what extent do you trust or not trust the following Ukrainian public figures? If you don't know him or her, say so.
In all regions, the situation is quite similar, and in all regions military commanders enjoy a fairly high degree of trust.
Graph 2. Trust in the military commanders in the regional dimension
Presence of friction/conflict between V. Zelenskyi and V. Zaluzhnyi
43% of Ukrainians believe that there may be some disagreements or friction between V. Zelenskyi and V. Zaluzhnyi. However, only 8% of them believe that the situation is very serious, and the remaining 35% consider these misunderstandings not very serious. In general, do not believe that there is a certain conflict - 39%, and 18% could not decide on their opinion.
Graph 3. There are rumors that there are certain disagreements, friction or misunderstandings between Supreme Commander-in-Chief Volodymyr Zelenskyi and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhnyi. You believe in this or not?
In all regions, the views of the respondents on this issue are quite similar.
Graph 4. The presence of disagreements, friction, misunderstandings between V. Zelenskyi and V. Zaluzhnyi in the regional dimension
Attitude towards the possible resignation of V. Zaluzhnyi
The vast majority of respondents - 72% - would have a negative attitude to V. Zaluzhny's resignation. Only 2% of respondents were positive about it. Another 21% have a neutral perception of it, and 5% could not formulate their opinion.
Graph 5. If the decision of Volodymyr Zelenskyi to dismiss Valery Zaluzhnyi and replace the Commander-in-Chief with another general was made, how would you react to this??
Among respondents who trust V. Zelenskyi, 71% would have a negative attitude to the decision to release V. Zaluzhnyi (and only 3% would have a positive attitude to it).
Graph 6. Attitude towards the possible resignation of V. Zaluzhnyi depending on trust / distrust to V. Zelenskyi
In all regions, the majority of the population is critical of V. Zaluzhnyi's resignation.
Graph 7. Attitude towards the possible resignation of V. Zaluzhnyi in the regional dimension
A. Hrushetskyi, comments on the survey results:
The Defense Forces of Ukraine and their command retain strong public support. The everyday heroism of defenders is beyond any doubt in almost every average Ukrainian.
That is why Ukrainians count on coordinated and constructive cooperation between the military command and the political leadership of the country. We previously showed that the majority of Ukrainians trust the President, and 59% trust both the President and the Commander-in-Chief. We also see a frankly negative attitude towards the possible resignation of V. Zaluzhnyi (especially among those who trust the President). The country needs sincere unifying actions at all levels.
The survey was conducted even before Defense Minister R. Umerov's statements regarding the lack of plans for a change of command. However, some (at least nominally) representatives of the authorities continue an active media campaign against the Commander-in-Chief. We can see that V. Zaluzhnyi maintains high public trust and, in general, Ukrainians are immune to criticism that may be heard. And taking into account the current situation with the public support of various institutions, such criticism against V. Zaluzhnyi will rather have a negative impact not on him, but on the political power of Ukraine in general.
Annex 1. Formulation of questions from the questionnaire
There are rumors that there are certain disagreements, friction or misunderstandings between Supreme Commander-in-Chief Volodymyr Zelenskyi and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi. You believe in this or not?
If the decision of Volodymyr Zelenskyi to dismiss Valerii Zaluzhnyi and replace the Commander-in-Chief with another general was made, how would you react to this??
To what extent do you trust or not trust the following Ukrainian public figures? If you don't know him or her, say so. RANDOMIZATION OF READING