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27 Oct, 2023 00:58

Zelensky losing support in Ukraine – poll

The latest US-backed survey revealed the military to be far more popular than the president
Zelensky losing support in Ukraine – poll

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is facing a drastic drop in approval ratings, according to a survey commissioned by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and funded by USAID.

Only 42% of Ukrainians “strongly approve” of the president, while 40% “somewhat approve,” the poll published this week has shown. Those figures were 58% and 33%, respectively, in the poll conducted in April.

Partial and strong disapproval of Zelensky went from four and three percent, respectively, in April to nine and seven percent in September.

At 82% strong approval, the Ukrainian military was far more popular than the president, though even that was down from 89% in April.

The next most popular politician in Kiev was Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, with 30% strong approval, down from 44% in April, and 41% partial approval, up from 32% previously. Kuleba’s combined disapproval has doubled to 16%, however.

Prime Minister Denis Shmigal had only 10% strong approval and a combined disapproval of 42%. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, fared even worse; only 5% strongly approved of its work, while 67% disapproved either somewhat or strongly.

About 94% of Ukrainians still believe their country will win in the conflict with Russia, although that is down from 97% in April 2022. Only 68% are convinced that Kiev will manage to win back all the territory it claims – the “1991 borders,” i.e. all the regions that have voted to join Russia, including Crimea and Sevastopol.

The survey was carried out by the polling agency Rating, on behalf of the IRI’s Center for Insights in Survey Research. It relied on a representative sample of 2,000 adult Ukrainians and was funded by a grant from USAID. 

Meanwhile, an Economist/YouGov survey published on Wednesday showed Zelensky as more popular among Americans than either President Joe Biden or his predecessor and likely 2024 challenger Donald Trump. Half of the surveyed Americans regarded the Ukrainian leader favorably and 24% unfavorably. Trump and Biden each got only 42% approval, with 55% disliking the current US president and 54% disliking the previous one.