Kyiv, April 29 2014 – Head of the International Republican Institute in Ukraine Michael Druckman and expert at Sociological Group “Rating” Igor Tishchenko presented the results of sociological study during a press briefing at the Ukrainian crisis media center. The survey was conducted by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The representative sampling for Ukraine amounted to 1200 persons; the chosen method is “eye to eye”.
According to the survey if a referendum on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union took place now, 54% of respondents would vote “for” and 31% “against”. Number of opponents of European integration as well as Ukraine’s accession to the Customs Union increased. If a referendum on joining the Customs Union was held today, only 24% would vote in favor of it.
“There is an interesting trend regarding NATO. If a referendum on NATO membership was held today, 38% would vote “for” it and only 40% “against”, – said Igor Tishchenko. He said that since March the number of supporters increased and number of opponents of NATO decreased. “We have been exploring this issue for many years now. Previously NATO was supported in average not more than by 20% and now we see the trend of growth, moreover such high rates are recorded for the first time in April. 38% “for” and 40% “against” – this is a response to Russia’s actions. People are looking for protection, the military one,”- said Tishchenko. The expert also pointed out that if earlier NATO was advocated only by Western Ukraine, today it is also supported by the Central Ukraine as well and the number of supporters in other regions is also increasing. Mr. Tishchenko outlined that the perception of NATO in Ukraine is improved primarily due to the actions of Russia.
Only 9% support the actions of Russia of sending troops on Ukrainian territory for the protection of the Russian-speaking population, 85% do not support this. A month ago the support for Russia was at the rate of 13% and the number of opponents was 81%. “The vast majority of the population in any region of Ukraine is against Russia’s actions aimed at protection of the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine”, – said Igor Tishchenko. He added that more than a half of the Ukrainians perceive Russia’s actions as an invasion and occupation of the territory of an independent Ukraine, 17% as a threat to new political power, 9% as the protection of Russian citizens, 7% as an aid in response to the call for new political leaders, 4% as a defense of the military base in Sevastopol.
If Russia decided to bring troops to the East and South of Ukraine to protect the Russian-speaking population, nearly 90% of the Ukrainians wouldn’t support the decision, only 7% would. The expert pointed out that only 16% of Russian-speaking population would support this decision.
Respondents also answered questions regarding the status of the Crimea. 13% of respondents believe that the region should be part of Russia. The vast majority believes that the region should remain a part of Ukraine. This dramatically increased positive attitude towards the Crimea to become the Tatar-Crimean autonomous republic within Ukraine: a few years ago it would be supported by only 1-2% of the Ukrainians, today it’s already 20%. “We see that the Ukrainians are ready to give the Crimea to the Crimean Tatars, just not to Russia”, – said Igor Tishchenko.
66% of respondents believe that Ukraine should remain a unitary state, another 7% see Ukraine unitary, but without the Crimea, and 17% are supporters of a federal state.
The survey also included a question of evaluation of the new authorities to ensure the territorial integrity of Ukraine. 14% of respondents believe that the new government is doing everything possible, 29% – that it’s partly making everything possible, 27% – making little of what is possible, 23% believe these actions are complete inactivity. Thus 43% estimate actions of the authorities as rather positive and 50% rated government’s actions to ensure the territorial integrity of Ukraine rather negatively.
55% of respondents are sure that they will attend the elections of the President of Ukraine. “We expect high attendance, especially in the West and Centre. The problem may occur in the South and East,” – said Igor Tishchenko.
The expert said that at the presidential elections 29% of respondents are ready to support Poroshenko, 13% would support Yulia Tymoshenko, 13% would support Sergei Tigipko, 5% would support Mikhail Dobkin. He said that the number of supporters of Poroshenko has significantly increased. This is primarily due to the fact that Vitaliy Klychko withdrew his candidacy and about 70% of his supporters decided to support Poroshenko. “Poroshenko is leading in almost all regions except for the East” – said Tishchenko. Positions of Yulia Tymoshenko have not changed.
If to the second round came Poroshenko and Yulia Tymoshenko, 41% of respondents would give their votes to Poroshenko and 15% to Tymoshenko.
Igor Tishchenko noted that 50% of respondents believe that the elections of the President of Ukraine will be rather free and fair. Almost 40% have the opposite opinion.
According to the survey, nearly 70% of respondents supported the initiative to hold early parliamentary elections. Support of this initiative is constantly growing and this trend is seen in all regions. The willingness of respondents to vote is also high. Thus 16% of respondents would vote for the party “Solidarnist” of Poroshenko, 15% for the “Batkivshchyna”, 9% for the party “UDAR” and 8% for the Party of Regions. Close to overcome the barrier of 5% are the parties “Svoboda”, “Radykalna Partiya” and “Communist Party”. All others have minimum support.
47% of respondents believe that the next parliamentary elections will be rather fair; almost 40% have the opposite opinion. General belief that the elections will be fair is increasing.
48% of respondents believe that Ukraine is mostly going in the wrong direction, 34% believe that things are going in the right direction. Every month the number of people who believe that things are going in the right direction increases.
Igor Tishchenko noted that people expect a decline of economic situation in Ukraine, but the trust to the government and confidence that the events are going in the right direction increases. “These are serious numbers. All these figures show what huge expectations the Ukrainians have after the elections,” – he stressed. Igor Tishchenko noted that the next President of Ukraine will get a heavy burden of responsibility.
Michael Druckman, Head of the International Republican Institute in Ukraine. Igor Tishchenko, expert at Sociological Group “Rating”