In Digest, Ukraine

New Cold War.org, Sept 12, 2015, published poll by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation

Few Ukrainians, it turns out, believe Russia to be an obstacle to economic reform

Streets of Vinnitsa, Ukraine (Shutterstock)

Streets of Vinnitsa, Ukraine (Shutterstock)

The Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation has published the results of polling of Ukrainians conducted from July 22-27, 2015. The polling was conducted in conjunction with the Razumkov Center.

A total of 2,011 respondents aged 18 and older were polled, not including people in Crimea and in the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The polling was conducted within the framework of the Civil Social Consortioum with the support of the European Union.

Among the results reported in the charts (go to weblink to view the charts) is the view of respondents of “the main driving force” preventing economic reform in Ukraine and the “main obstacle” to reforms. Less that two per cent said “Russia” was a main driving force, and only 12 per cent said it is an obstacle.

Five per cent of Ukrainians are fully confident in the economic “reforms” on which the current government is embarked. Another 26 per cent believe in them, though with doubts.

Enclosed is the full text of the announcement of the published poll. Click on the weblink to see the charts of results of the specific questions asked.


Basically every Ukrainian felt the consequences of the current financial-economic crisis: 59%- very seriously and another 37% – to a certain degree. The main economic consequence of the crisis for the majority of the population was the rise in prices (75%) and the reduced purchase of clothing and other items (72%) associated with this, the decrease in consumption of food products (67%) and the limitation of purchase of medications and medical services (55%). Every fourth citizen felt a reduction in wages.

The overwhelming majority of Ukrainias do not believe in the success of reforms tht the government is trying to implement: 32% have certain hopes, although they do not believe that this will happen and 30% are totally hopeless. However, only 30% on the whole believe that reforms will be successful.

Nearly half of Ukrainians (48%) feels that the new Ukrainian leadership did not achieve any progress in implementing reforms. Every fourth citizen feels that approximately 10% of that which should have been done was achieved, every 10th felt that no more than a third of the reforms were implemented and 3% – no more than half. Finally, 0.6% of citizens believe that the government implemented more than half of the planned reforms..

In the opinion of citizens, the government and oligarchs are the greatest obstacles to the conducting of reforms (51%). On the other hand, in the opinion of 32% of Ukrainians, the government is not an obstacle to reforms, rather on the contrary fosters the conduct of reforms. Conversely, only 7% of Ukrainians have such an opinion as it pertains to oligarchs. Accordingly, the conditional balance of the attitudes towards the role of oligarchs in conducting reforms is the worst among agents in this process (-44%). Ukrainians give an extremely low assessment of the analogous influence of state officials (-38%) as well as political forces that are part of the composite of the coalition (-22%). The number of those who feel that the president is the driving force and the brakes on reform is approximately equal: 37% to 39% respectively. Non-government organizations and volunteers can boast the highest balance of the attitudes of citizens in the context of influence  on the conducting of reforms: 22% feel that they foster reforms,, while only 0.5% – that are obstacles to such reforms. Ukrainian citizens demonstrated a similar balance overall: 18.5% feel that the president is the driving force of reforms, while only 3% feel his is an obstacle to them.

The main reason for the current socioeconomic crisis in Ukraine is the corruption among representatives of the ruling power (72% of Ukrainians are convinced of this). Besides that, in their opinion the oligargization of the economy was also an important (54%), incompetent administration of the social and economic spheres on the part of the political leadership of the country (47%) and the absence of a strategy of socioeconomic development (35%). 30% of the polled believe the military actions in the Donbas region are the cause of the crisis.

The overwhelming majority of Ukrainians (54%) support the continuation of market reforms for the sake of overcoming the socioeconomic crisis in the country. 20% of the polled named the transition to a planned economy a panacea.

The most important reform for Ukrainians is anti-corruption measures – 65% of citizens feel this. In addition to that, on the list of priority reforms respondents of the poll mention reform of law enforcement bodies (58%), pension reform and reform of the social security system (40%) and reform of the healthcare system (36%).

Only 9% Ukrainians are fully satisfied with the state of the government informing them about its work. In the opinion of 39% of citizens, the information that the government provides often does not correspond to reality, 28% feel that such information is not sufficient and 24% complain that the information is not understood. At the same time, 12% are convinced that experts and not the average citizen should be interested in such information.

Ukrainians are split in their attitudes towards the appointment of citizens of other countries to state positions, first and foremost Georgia. The equal number of the polled – 42% – support and do not such staffing decisions. Moreover, in the western and central oblasts of Ukraine the polled support such appointments (58% and 49% assess them as positive, respectively), while in the southern and eastern oblasts and the Donbas region  the people for the most part do not support such appointment (33%, 29% and 26%, respectively). The attitudes towards the appointment of Mikhail Saakashvili the head of the Odesa Oblast State Administration (OSA) are slightly better: 44% gave a positive assessment, while 38% gave a negative assessment. At the same time, the regional differences are equally expressive: in western and central oblasts the majority of the population supports such a decision (62% and 53%, respectively), while in the southern and eastern oblasts and the Donbas region – the minority (35%, 30% and 28%, respectively).

Slightly more than a third of Ukrainians (36%) are ready to tolerate a further decline in their standard of living for the sake of the success of reforms (of them 8% are ready to tolerate as much as it takes, while 28% – no more than a year). At the same time, every third Ukrainian cannot tolerate it any longer as their material status today is intolerable and every fourth citizen cannot tolerate any longer as it does not believe in the success of reforms.  Only in western regions of the country the majority of residents are ready to tolerate material hardships for a certain period of time (overall, 57%). In all other regions of the country such residents were in the minority (in the central region – 37.5%, in the southern region – 25%, in the eastern region – 23%, in the Donbas – 28%). Over the past half year, the number of those who are ready to tolerate hardships for the sake of the implementation of reforms decreased by 8%, while the number of those who are not ready to tolerate such hardships increased by 11%.

Nearly 30% of Ukrainians are aware of the civil initiative “Reanimation Package of Reforms”: 4% a well aware of it, while 25% heard something about it.

A relative majority of Ukrainians (51%) admitted that it is not ready to make personal efforts for the sake of the success of reforms in the country: 28% – because they feel that bodies of the state should engage in them, while 23% – because they do not believe in the success of reforms. On the other hand, 28% are ready to attentively observe information about the progress of reforms in the mass media, 13% are ready to gain knowledge necessary for orienting themselves regarding reforms and 11% are ready to participated in public debates.

Here are results of the public opinion poll: (weblink).

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