I don’t think it’s controversial to say that the Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed this summer, with Russia gaining territory in the eastern part of the frontlines. Have there been any reliable polls in Ukraine after September 1st on what Ukrainians would like to be done moving forward?
The Kyiv International Institute of Sociology conducted a telephone survey between 29 September and 9 October 2023 involving 1,010 respondents living in Ukraine.
The key results are as follows.
Readiness for territorial concessions
Since May 2022, KIIS in its own surveys regularly asks question about the population's readiness for territorial concessions in order to achieve peace and preserve independence as soon as possible. Now, in September-October 2023, we asked this question again to assess the dynamics of public moods, which allows, in particular, to understand how the views of the population have changed over the summer of 2023.
Graph 1 shows the respondents' answers. As can be seen, compared to May 2023, the share of those who are ready to agree to territorial concessions to achieve peace and preserve the independence of Ukraine has increased from 10% to 14%. Together with this the absolute majority of the population - 80% (in May 2023 - 84%) - remains confident that no territorial concessions are acceptable, even if this means that the war will last longer and there will be other threats.
A. Hrushetskyi, comments on the survey results:
In early October 2023, KIIS completed its own regular survey and we are processing the results, in particular, analyzing the dynamics of public moods compared to the last surveys (conducted until the summer of 2023). In the coming weeks, KIIS will publish various results.
There are certain alarming trends in public moods that require separate attention and analysis. However, we consider the basic readiness of Ukrainians for territorial concessions to be fundamental, which more integrally reflects Ukrainians' sense of the current situation in the country and their own well-being. Therefore, we are opening a series of our publications with this question.
Perhaps there will be supporters of the "theory of treason" who will interpret the growth of readiness for territorial concessions as extremely pessimistic. However, we emphasize that context is important for interpretation. About 4 difficult months passed between the current survey and the previous one, with bloody battles and devastating shelling (and, in addition, with internal political tension due to corruption issues and with difficulties in relations with foreign friends). Most likely, many Ukrainians had more optimistic expectations for the beginning of autumn 2023 before the beginning of summer.
However, despite all these factors, the absolute majority of Ukrainians do not lose heart and retain confidence in the importance of continuing the fight against the enemy.