What factors unite and divide Ukrainians?


The notion of the existence of two almost equal identities in Ukraine – namely, Ukrainian and Russian – does not correspond to reality. Such a conclusion can be drawn on the grounds of research conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation jointly with the social service Ukrainian Sociology Service ordered by the International Center for Policy Studies from December 25, 2014 to January 15, 2015.

Nearly 95% of Ukrainian citizens surveyed feel the Ukrainian state, language and culture are close to their hearts. For 73% of the surveyed the Ukrainian state is very close to their hearts, while slightly less of the surveyed (67%) have a similar view regarding the Ukrainian language. The Russian language and culture are also not strange to Ukrainians as they remain close to the hearts of Ukrainians in all regions of the country, with the exception of Halychyna in western Ukraine. In other words, in the majority of regions of Ukraine there exists a dual cultural identity (Ukrainian and Russian), while in some parts of the country there is a duality of national identity.

Despite this, the majority of Ukrainians first and foremost consider themselves citizens of Ukraine – 67.5%. Certain regions stand out for the somewhat higher level of regional identity: mainly oblasts in the Donbas region, Zakarpattya and Chernivtsi.

Only 5% of Ukrainians want the regions in which they live to be separated from Ukraine. As for the Donbas, only 11.5% of Ukrainians agree that the region should be separated from Ukraine, the majority of which (37%) live in the Donbas region. 7% of Ukrainians agree that Halychyna should be separated from Ukraine, the majority of which (16%) live in the Donbas and the minority of whichlive in the Volyn oblast (0.5%) and in Halychyna (1%).

For the most part, public opinion is divided into two variants: to be a region in the composite of a unitary Ukraine with the current authority (33%) or in the composite of a unitary Ukraine with expanded authorities (46%). 

The main factors that could divide Ukraine are corruption at the ruling government (29%), the actions of oligarchs (29%), the actions of Russia in favor of the division of Ukraine (25%), manipulation through the mass media (24%) and dividing Ukrainians through methods of political canvassing (20%).

In the opinion of the Ukrainian people, the following actions would be the most effective way of their reconciliation: victory in the war (36%), a die-hard fight against corruption (35%) and improvement of the socio-economic state in the country (34%). At the same time, the notions of federalization of Ukraine and the acceptance of Russian as the second official language are in last place in the results of the surveys – 6% and 8%, respectively.

63% of the residents of the Donbas region are confident that the need for reconciliation of state policy unites all regions of Ukraine.


A total of 4,413 citizens were polled (400 in all regions of Ukraine, 401 – in Zakarpattya and Bukhovyna, 402 – in the central oblasts of the country and 410 – in the north-central oblasts of the Polissya region).

What can divide Ukrainians?

 

 

Galicia

Kharkiv oblast

Center

South

Donbas

Ukraine

Educational programs

16,5

12

10

11,5

9

15

Military victory

31

29

39

29

11

33,5

Mutual visits of Eastern and Western Ukrainians

27

15

15

13,5

17

18

Round tables and discussions

10,5

10

10

15

7,5

12

Real fight against corruption

24,5

28

45,5

36

19

33

Improvement of socio-economic conditions

26

32

44

34

33

34

Adoption of Russian language as second official

1

15

4

12

17

9

Federalization of Ukraine

1

15

2

5

21

7

Decentralization of Ukraine

5

8

9

14,5

10

10

Rule of law (all are equal before the law)

15

15

21

28

11

18

Balanced national policy

7,5

11

16

22,5

16

13

Fight against nationalist ideology

2,5

8

4,5

14

33

10

Difficult to say

17

14

16

10,5

11

13

 

What can unite Ukrainians?

 

 

Galicia

Kharkiv oblast

Center

South

Donbas

Ukraine

Willingness of some Ukrainians to join the EU

5

9

18

25

20

15,5

Willingness of some Ukrainians to join the Customs Union

7

8

14

18

6

12

Actions of Yanukovych government

5

13

21

10

3

13

Corrupted authorities

19

27

34

24,5

19,5

28

Political agitation

16

35

16

19

18,5

19,5

Actions of oligarchs

23,5

21

30

26,5

20

27

Oppression on linguistic ground

10

12

5,5

14

14

10

Manipulation of mass media

16,5

20

25

25

29

23

“Euromaidan”

0,5

4

3

10

6

6

Influence of Western countries

3

12

4

14

23

10

Influence of Russia

34

15

30

20

7

25

Rise of nationalism

4

13

2,5

16

30

10

There is no division in Ukraine

18

7,5

8

10,5

6,5

9

It is impossible to unite Ukraine

1

1

1

4,5

7

2,5

Difficult to say

11

10

8

3

2

6