Ukrainians and the 32nd anniversary of Independence

August 2023
Special survey for the Independence Day

Every August, on the eve of Independence Day, Gradus Research conducts a sociological survey to find out how citizens assess life in Ukraine and the vector of its development, how they see their future and in what direction they are changing as a society. 2023 is no exception, so we will see some processes in dynamics and be able to track which ones have been strengthened or weakened by the full-scale war that has been going on for a year and a half.

Unity in the vision of the country's development is growing and strengthening

This is reflected in respondents' more positive assessment of the state of affairs in Ukraine: currently, 61% of respondents believe that the country is moving in the right direction, compared to just over half (52%) in March 2022.

Support for Ukraine's accession to the EU and NATO has also increased significantly: while in August 2021, 61% and 60% of respondents, respectively, declared this vector of development was right, 78% and 79% of respondents now share this opinion.

Ukraine EU NATO

Increasing levels of paternalism, altruism and the signature Ukrainian spirit of freedom

The war has contributed to unity and active development of horizontal ties in society, which help Ukrainians solve complex problems on a person-to-person level. At the same time, we see an increase in citizens' expectations of the state, which are traditionally perceived as indicators of paternalism. However, in this case, the increased expectations are dictated by the fact that certain important aspects of the present can only be solved by the state, such as the country's defence capability or defence system. Therefore, in times of war, it is normal for citizens to raise their expectations of the state.

Social consensus

"The growing level of paternalism shows that society is unable to cope with the challenges of today on its own and expects the state to solve many issues. And this is true. Society cannot install air defense systems on its own, build new housing for IDPs who have suffered from the war and lost their homes, and society cannot regulate the system of adoption or assistance to vulnerable groups. As the war brings these issues to the headlines and makes them more relevant in everyday life, society's expectations of the state are significantly higher than before the war," comments Evgeniyia Bliznyuk, sociologist, CEO & Founder of Gradus Research.

At the same time, the survey results show a significant shift towards greater altruistic sentiment in society. In particular, almost a third of the surveyed citizens (28%) are now ready to sacrifice their own interests for the sake of social harmony, compared to 14% in pre-war 2021. And the share of those who consider their own interests more important than social harmony has decreased from two-thirds (66%) to half of respondents (51%) in two years.

The signature Ukrainian spirit of freedom is evidenced by the fact that ensuring the freedoms of every citizen is a prerequisite for a modern, developed society, according to 73% of respondents. And their share has increased by 5 percentage points since 2021.

The vision of Ukraine's future after the war is optimistic

The belief in the possibility of a better life in the future is consistently high and even higher than the pre-war level — 68% of respondents share this opinion, compared to 62% in 2021.

Future Ukraine

Among the main opportunities after the victory, respondents see an increase in the state's defense capabilities (52%), global economic support (40%), and the renovation of infrastructure and cities (40%). At the same time, a large share of respondents (58%) see the need to rebuild cities and infrastructure as one of the main post-war challenges. Other challenges include the need to economically recover the country and improve the financial situation of the population (54%), as well as to ensure security in the territories that have been occupied or have become the site of hostilities (52%).

You can download the full report of the survey by filling in the form below.

The survey was conducted by Gradus Research using a self-administered questionnaire in a mobile application. The Gradus online panel reflects the population structure of cities with more than 50,000 residents aged 18-60 by gender, age, settlement size and region. Field periods: 26 July 2021 (sample size — 1000 respondents), 5 August 2021 (sample size — 1022 respondents), 6 March 2022 (sample size — 1000 respondents). 7-8 August 2023 (sample size -- 1100 respondents).

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