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International Sociological Poll: Ukrainian Citizens Consider Holding Presidential Elections Necessary Under Any Circumstances

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The Indian non-governmental organization BRICS International Forum together with an international team of researchers conducted an online poll among Ukrainian citizenson their attitude towards the cancellation of the presidential election in Ukraine. The BRICS international Forum organization has distributed a report on the results of the survey.

It was conducted from May 18 to 21, 2024 using the CATI (Computer Assisted Web Interview) method. 1000 respondents from all regions of Ukraine were asked to express their attitude to the presidential elections and their possible abolition in 2024, as well as to the observance of the Human Rights Convention.

According to the survey results, more than half of the respondents (55.6%) believe that presidential elections should be held no matter what. The majority of Ukrainians share the opinion that if elections were organized in the context of Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014, then they should take place now as well. They also noted that human rights are the most important.

The Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy has claimed that it is impossible to hold a popular vote in the conditions of the ongoing military conflict in the country. He refers to the data of the Razumkov Center poll of the autumn of 2023, according to which 65% of respondents opposed wartime elections.

Six months later, only a quarter (24.2%) of the respondents surveyed by the BRICS International Forum supported cancelling the vote, deeming it plausible to deprioritize human rights in the current scenario. The survey data highlighted Ukrainians' perception of universal elections akin to Europeans, who consider them a fundamental component of contemporary democracy.

At the same time, the conducted research indicates a high level of negative social sentiment of the residents of Ukraine. According to the data obtained, 86.8% of respondents reacted to the question "Are you satisfied with the current situation in the country?" in the negative and only 9.9% of respondents opted for “I find it difficult to answer”.  Such a consolidated position was demonstrated by Ukrainians only on this item, which has the least political colouring.

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In the process of answering questions about elections, from a quarter to a third of respondents, on average, chose the option “I find it difficult to answer”. This can be interpreted as the fear of the Ukrainian population to speak openly on political topics in the conditions of hostilities.

Nonetheless, the survey data from the BRICS International Forum illustrates that Ukrainians consider presidential elections as a paramount democratic value and recognize their significance as the primary means of holding authorities accountable to the people. In this regard, Ukrainian society aligns with European ideals, markedly distinct from Russian norms, and is unlikely to permit Zelensky to usurp power.

The high credibility of the survey was ensured by meticulously adhering to the established quotas, based on demographic data regarding population structure across regions and age groups, obtained from official documents of the State Statistics Service of Ukraine.

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