This week marks one year since the Russian military began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s attack on its neighbor disrupted decades of fragile regional stability and upended the international order.
Ukraine’s sustained resistance to Russian aggression continues to receive support from governments around the world. United States’ President Joe Biden’s surprise visit to Ukraine in February of 2023 marked the West’s firm commitment to Ukraine’s war effort. The United Nations quickly followed suit; on February 23, the UN passed a resolution condemning the invasion and “reaffirmed support” for the Ukrainian people. The resolution signifies continued international assistance for Ukraine in spite of continue Russian aggression.
Over the past year, ORB International has conducted research among Ukrainian adults about the conflict to inform international response. In late January, ORB conducted two focus groups in Kyiv and a nationally representative quantitative survey. Our earlier polling in March/April 2022 can be found here, here and here. Some highlights can be found below.
Challenges faced by Ukrainians
Ukrainians are struggling with the changes brought by the war, including the inability to plan their lives, fear for the lives of loved ones, and lack of electricity.
Despite the challenges they face, there is a strong sense of unity and collective pride among Ukrainians. When asked what emotions and feelings they felt in the past week in relation to the current situation in Ukraine, the three most dominant emotions are hope, anxiety and pride.
Winning the war
Nearly all Ukrainians think either Ukraine is winning or that neither side has a clear advantage. Just under a quarter think the war will last between 6-12 months and a third expect it to last at least another year. These numbers have shifted dramatically since the start of the war; surveys in the beginning of the conflict found that 56% of Ukrainians believed the war would end by March of 2022.
Territorial integrity has remained essential for Ukrainians throughout the conflict. In March of 2022, only around 20% of Ukrainians were willing to accept the four annexed territories as Russian. According to recent surveys, the majority of the population still prioritizes Ukrainian sovereignty over accepting annexation.
As for Ukraine’s future status, the vast majority want Ukraine to join NATO. Public opinion on NATO membership has stayed consisted throughout the year; in April of 2022, 79% of Ukrainians supported joining NATO.
It is clear what the priority is for Ukrainians: military support. In line with this, many countries around the world have offered military assistance to Ukraine over other types of assistance since the start of the invasion.
As the conflict continues to unfold, ORB remains on the front lines conducting research in Ukraine, and many other parts of the world experiencing conflict and humanitarian disasters. Want to learn more about our work? Check out our insights here.