Survey shows declining Ukrainian confidence in reclaiming 1991 borders

A woman near the spontaneous memorial to the fallen defenders of Ukraine on Independence Square in Kyiv, March 15, 2024
A woman near the spontaneous memorial to the fallen defenders of Ukraine on Independence Square in Kyiv, March 15, 2024

A recent survey shows that only 45% of Ukrainians remain optimistic about their country regaining its 1991 borders post-conflict with Russia, a notable decrease from 68% in September 2023.

This survey, conducted from February 17-21, 2024, by the Ukrainian "Rating" sociological group and funded by the USAID, reveals a significant shift in public sentiment amid ongoing hostilities.

Read also: National poll shows only quarter optimistic about future, signaling shift in sentiment

The survey, which did not include Ukrainians living abroad, marks the first instance of confidence dipping below the halfway mark since the escalation of the conflict. While 7% of participants believe Ukraine will recover Donbas but not Crimea, an equal percentage envisage the return of Crimea excluding territories held by the "DPR" and "LPR."

A concerning 16% of respondents anticipate Ukraine reverting to its pre-invasion boundaries, whereas another 16% fear the loss of more territories compared to the situation as of Feb. 24, 2024. Only a small fraction, 1%, predict a total Russian takeover, with 2% offering different views and 6% undecided or not responding.

The survey also highlights a generational divide: 52% of those over 51 years old believe in regaining the 1991 borders, compared to 37% of the 18-35 age group and 44% of the 36-50 cohort.

When asked about Ukraine's priorities, 39% of respondents advocate for continuing the conflict to reclaim all lost territories, 23% prioritize NATO membership, 19% support freezing the conflict to prevent further losses, and 11% aim for EU membership.

Read also: Ukrainian society seeks just peace amid uncertainty post-invasion – Survey

The research was carried out across Ukrainian territories under government control, excluding Crimea, Donbas, and parts of southern Ukraine, using a Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI) methodology with randomly selected mobile numbers.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine