“Only six percent of Ukrainians feel unprepared to take on Russia’s invasion, and even during a winter marked by blackouts and shortages they feel more prepared to face the risk of energy supply disruption than any G7 public,” the report says.
Nothing short of a complete Russian withdrawal from Ukrainian territory, including Crimea, suffices for most Ukrainians (93%) as acceptable conditions for a ceasefire. Even the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the previously occupied territories would be unacceptable to the majority of Ukrainians if it did not also include Crimea – only 11% would agree to this and only 7% would be satisfied with the withdrawal of Russian troops to the borders as of February 24, 2022. Another 1 percent would be ready to put up with today’s situation from the point of view of occupied territories.
“Premature peace negotiations, calls for which are particularly vocal in some Western capitals, would thus likely meet fierce resistance among the Ukrainian population,” authors conclude.
They note that, unlike some Western politicians, whose concerns about further military escalation seem to prevent stronger support, Ukrainians are not intimidated by Russian threats. As devastating as the use of a tactical nuclear weapon against a city or on the battlefield would be, an overwhelming majority of Ukrainians say they would still refuse to surrender if it occurred.
Ukraine’s Western orientation is also unequivocal. The vast majority of Ukrainians want to live in a world shaped by European and, to a lesser extent, US rules.
The vast majority – 65% – also fears that Ukraine will never be safe without NATO, which is confirmed by the fact that Ukrainians have much less faith in the protection ensured by the EU than by NATO. Some 83% of respondents believe that there will be no security and peace as long as Putin is in power in the Kremlin.
Russian and Chinese visions of order “have virtually no purchase in Ukraine,” analysts emphasized.
Also, citizens of Ukraine are deeply aware of the long-term threat posed by Putin’s Russia, and mostly believe that they need security guarantees from the West. What they might look like is still unclear, but most Ukrainians believe that they will need constant arms supplies from the West.
Ukrainians assessed the response of various countries to Russia’s aggression. All G7 nations, as well as Turkey, are unequivocally positively evaluated by the respondents. But there are significant differences between them – which is not surprising, given the difference in the material support provided, the messages and the urgency with which countries responded to the war, the authors point out.
Great Britain leads the ranking, followed by the USA and Canada, while Western European countries lag behind English-speaking countries by about 30 percentage points. At the same time, Ukrainians perceive China and India particularly poorly, while all actors of the “Global South” are rated negatively in the rating.
As reported, the Munich Security Conference will be held on February 17-19.