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

Installation of the trident on the Motherland monument in Kyiv, August 2023
Installation of the trident on the Motherland monument in Kyiv, August 2023

After two years of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukrainian society is not clear about what victory means, but the demand for a just peace is “absolutely clear,” Yevhenia Blyznyuk, director of the sociological company Gradus Research and the Corestone Group agency, told NV in an interview published on March 7.

NV met with the sociologist to discuss the company’s latest research on the mood in Ukrainian society after two years of the all-out war.

Blyznyuk pointed out that “society itself never generates clear expectations,” including regarding the format of victory.

“Last year, the year before that, there were many narratives in the media that victory for us was reaching the borders of 1991. That’s why society was so united around these narratives,” the researcher said.

But there were fewer such “statements” in the Ukrainian media in late 2023 and early 2024, “so respondents are less focused on such clear wording,” said Blyznyuk.

“I would say this: as of today, society does not have a clear definition of what victory is, what victory means,” the sociologist said.

Read also: 77% of Ukrainians confident in Ukraine’s eventual victory – poll

“And these expectations are not so much softened as blurred. However, it is also important to say that society has a clear demand for a just peace.”

She stressed that the notional “formula” for such a just peace may differ significantly from respondent to respondent, depending on the region and on the direct experience of war, as it is very different in Ukraine. “But the demand for a just peace is very high,” Blyznyuk concluded.

According to KIIS think tank data as of February 2024, 72% of Ukrainians agreed with the opinion that “Ukraine, in addition to the military, should seek a diplomatic way to end the war with Russia in order to minimize human casualties.”

In May 2022, the proportion was 59%. At the same time, the number of those who believe that “Ukraine should defeat Russia only by military means, regardless of the number of victims,” has decreased from 35% in May 2022 to 23% in February 2024.

At the same time, in all regions of Ukraine, 63-66% of respondents surveyed by KIIS believe in the full restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity following the war, while 31-34% allow the possibility of certain territorial losses.

Read also: Vast majority of Ukrainians see liberating all Ukrainian territory as key to defeating Russia

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine