Growing number of Ukrainians want peace talks – poll
Ukrainians are almost evenly split on how to proceed in the conflict with Russia, local media reported on Sunday, citing a survey conducted in November by the Rating group.
According to the results of the poll, 44% of respondents said it was important to look for compromise in negotiations with Russia and that other countries should be brought into the process.
At the same time, 48% of those polled were opposed to any negotiations with Moscow, and insisted on continuing hostilities until Kiev retakes full control of the territories it has lost.
The results indicated a marked downturn in the number of Ukrainians who support prolonging the fighting with Moscow. In similar polls conducted in July and February, negotiations were backed by just 35% of respondents, while 60% were in favor of prolonging the conflict.
In the latest survey, a compromise was mostly supported by people between the ages of 18 and 35 from the eastern part of Ukraine. Most of those who supported continuing the fighting were between the ages of 36 and 50, and live in the western half of the country.
A similar poll cited by Bloomberg last month also suggested there was a “growing minority” of Ukrainians who believe territorial concessions to Russia are inevitable in exchange for peace.
The poll results come after Kiev’s much-touted summer counteroffensive failed to result in any meaningful territorial gains. According to the latest estimates reported by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, as of early December, the campaign had cost Ukraine over 125,000 troops and more than 16,000 heavy weapons units.
Concerns have also increased in Kiev that financial and military support from its Western backers could soon dry up as they grow weary of the conflict and shift their focus towards the recent escalation between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.
Despite these factors, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has insisted Kiev will not accept any compromise with Russia and will continue fighting until it recaptures all the territories within its 1991 borders. He has also legally banned negotiations with Moscow while President Vladimir Putin remains in power.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov admitted last week that a ceasefire was unlikely in 2024, as Kiev and the US continue to push Zelensky’s peace formula as the only possible solution to the conflict.
The Ukrainian leader’s proposal involves Kiev reassuming control over its 1991 territories, while Moscow would be ordered to pay reparations and Russian officials would face a war crimes tribunal. Russia has repeatedly dismissed the proposal as being detached from reality.