Kiev. (multipolar) [translator’s note: multipolar is a magazine] A large majority of the Ukrainian population would like to bring the war against Russia to an end through negotiations. This is the result of a representative survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), which was published on Wednesday (February 21 [2024]). 72 percent of respondents advocate that Ukraine “in addition to military efforts, also look for a diplomatic way to end the war with Russia in order to minimize human losses”.

According to the current survey, 23% of respondents believe that Ukraine can only defeat Russia by military means – “no matter how high the number of casualties”. Four percent of the approximately 1,200 respondents were unable to choose between the two answers. An answer option calling for diplomacy without parallel military action was not included in the survey, which was conducted by telephone from February 5 to 10 [2024]. In May 2022, only 59% of respondents in the KIIS survey were in favor of a diplomatic solution, while 35% were still in favor of a strictly military course.

According to the survey, the majority of the Ukrainian population is still certain that their country will win the war. However, the belief in a “definitive” victory for Ukraine has fallen from 80% in May 2022 to just 60% in February 2024. When asked in whose favor the fighting is currently developing, only 24% answered “Ukraine”. In addition, a growing minority of respondents, now 32%, believe that the war will end with territorial losses for Ukraine.

Another recent poll also shows President Volodymyr Zelensky’s great loss of popularity. If elections were to be held in Ukraine now, the incumbent could only expect to receive 16.2 percent of the votes, according to Ukrainian media reports. General Valeriy Salushniy, who was recently dismissed by Zelensky as military commander-in-chief, would receive the most votes with 38.2 percent. The well-known competitors Yulia Tymoshenko and Petro Poroshenko ranked behind Zelensky with ten and eight per cent respectively in the survey conducted by the civilian organization PPI.

In the 2019 presidential election, the current president received around 30 percent of the vote in the first round and ultimately won 73 percent of the vote in the subsequent run-off against Petro Poroshenko. In the months immediately after the Russian invasion, Zelensky’s trust ratings in Ukraine even rose to 90% according to KIIS. Zelensky has canceled the regularly scheduled Ukrainian presidential elections in March 2024, citing the ongoing war as the reason. The unfolding debate about forced mobilizations was also addressed in the current survey. These are rejected by 90 percent of Ukrainians surveyed.

This report was taken from Multipolar magazine.