State and social institutions: who do Ukrainians trust and who don't?

Data presentation organized by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation in memory of Iryna Bekeshkina, famous Ukrainian sociologist, director of the Foundation from 2010 to 2020.

During December 2020 Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted two all-Ukrainian opinion polls in all regions of Ukraine except Autonomous Republic of Crimea and some areas of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. The surveys were conducted by CATI (computer assisted telephone interviews) and face-to-face interviews. The sample consisted of 2001 respondents (age 18 or older) for each of the surveys. The theoretical sampling error not exceeding 3.3% for the first survey and 2.4% for the second survey.

For comparison, we provide data from surveys conducted in different years by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. In the course of the study, respondents were asked about their level of trust in various social institutions and parties, as well as in sociological surveys.

  • Volunteers have the greatest trust of Ukrainians — both those who help the army and those who help IDPs—74% and 66%, respectively. Ukrainians also trust their neighbors: 67% trust ordinary people in their locality. 41% trust IDPs. It is worth noting that compared to last year's results, this indicator has increased by 4%.
  • Among institutions, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have the highest level of public trust — 66%. 52% of respondents trust the church, and 39% trust non-governmental organizations.
  • Russian media have the lowest level of trust in Ukrainian society — only 4%. As for Ukrainian media, 30% of the population trust them.

Diagram 1 shows the regional distribution of the trust and distrust balance in social institutions (the percentage of those who trust, minus the percentage of those who distrust).

  • Except the Armed Forces of Ukraine other state institutions on the list have a negative trust and distrust balance (the percentage of those who trust, minus the percentage of those who distrust). 
  • Among the institutions of the central government Ukrainians least trust the Verkhovna Rada (12%) and the Government (14%). As for the institution of the President, the level of trust in it is about one-third.
  • 34% of respondents trust the Patrol Police (compared to 30% in 2018), and 29% in general trust the National Police (the same number in 2018). 27% of respondents trust the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) (compared to 21% in 2018).

Diagram 2 shows the regional distribution of the trust and distrust balance in social institutions (the percentage of those who trust, minus the percentage of those who distrust). From West to East, trust in state institutions is declining.

  • As for the parliamentary parties, not more than a quarter of respondents trust them. At the time of the survey, the party "Servant of the People" was trusted by the most respondents—25%. 21–22% each trust "European Solidarity", "Batkivshchyna," and "Opposition Platform — For Life".
  • In the West, the lowest level of trust in the representatives of the "Opposition Platform — For Life" party — 65% of respondents there do not trust it (11% do). Meanwhile, the parties "European Solidarity" and "Servant of the People" are trusted by 30% and 26%, respectively. For respondents from the central regions of Ukraine, trust in the parties "Servant of the People" and "Batkivshchyna" is typical — trust in both is 26%, slightly lower is trust in "European Solidarity" (22%). The last places in the trust rating among the parties are occupied by "Holos" and Opposition Platform — For Life —17% and 16%, respectively. In eastern Ukraine, the "Opposition Platform — For Life" party is the most trusted—37%. In the South, this party has 29% trust, only 3% more than "Servant of the People".
  • As for sociological organizations, the survey showed that about 40% of Ukrainians trust them. It is worth noting that this level of trust only concerns those sociological organizations that have been working for a long time and publish the results of their research. In general, over the past 17 years, the level of public trust in the sociological organizations has significantly increased from 36% in 2002 to 47% in 2004. Then, in 2015–2016, it reached 50% but began to fall down to 41% in 2020 (although it is still higher than the level of 2002). The balance of trust/distrust during this period increased from 7% in 2002 to 20% in 2020.

 

 

Table 1. Level of trust in institutions

 

Trust

Do not trust

The trust and distrust balance

President of Ukraine

32

45

-13

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

12

67

-55

Government of Ukraine

14

61

-47

Armed Forces of Ukraine

66

15

52

Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)

27

42

-15

National Police

29

46

-17

Patrol police

34

39

-5

Church

52

25

27

Ukrainian media

30

43

-13

Russian media

4

78

-74

Political party "Servant of the People"

25

54

-29

Political party "European Solidarity"

22

58

-36

Political party "OPZZh"

21

57

-36

Political party "Batkivshchyna"

22

58

-36

Political party "Holos"

16

56

-40

Non-governmental organizations

39

23

16

Ordinary people in your locality

67

12

55

IDPs

41

18

23

Volunteers who help the army

74

10

64

Volunteers who help IDPs

66

10

56

Table 2. Level of trust in institutions: regional distribution

 

West

 

Center

South

East

 

Trust

Do not trust

Balance

Trust

Do not trust

Balance

Trust

Do not trust

Balance

Trust

Do not trust

Balance

President of Ukraine

33

44

-10

31

43

-12

34

45

-10

28

50

-22

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

10

65

-54

15

65

-51

11

67

-56

12

74

-62

Government of Ukraine

13

57

-45

16

61

-45

15

60

-46

12

68

-56

Armed Forces of Ukraine

79

7

72

69

11

58

60

20

40

46

28

18

Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)

24

40

-15

27

42

-16

28

44

-16

28

42

-14

National Police

31

43

-12

28

48

-20

28

48

-21

30

46

-16

Patrol police

35

37

-1

34

39

-4

31

43

-11

34

39

-5

Church

73

13

60

46

28

18

43

33

11

44

28

16

Ukrainian media

33

36

-2

32

40

-8

27

51

-24

24

49

-25

Russian media

3

86

-83

2

82

-81

9

71

-62

5

64

-59

Political party "Servant of the People"

26

52

-27

26

53

-27

26

56

-29

18

58

-40

Political party "European Solidarity"

30

45

-15

22

58

-36

16

66

-50

14

68

-54

Political party "OPZZh"

11

65

-54

16

62

-46

29

52

-23

37

40

-2

Political party "Batkivshchyna"

21

53

-33

26

55

-29

21

64

-43

13

63

-50

Political party "Holos"

24

45

-21

17

53

-36

9

68

-59

12

65

-52

Non-governmental organizations

44

19

25

38

24

15

38

27

10

36

22

14

Ordinary people in your locality

71

12

59

67

12

55

63

13

50

67

12

56

IDPs

40

19

21

38

20

18

41

18

23

49

13

35

Volunteers who help the army

85

4

81

76

9

67

67

13

54

63

18

45

Volunteers who help IDPs

71

8

63

67

9

59

59

11

48

66

13

53

Table 3. Do you trust the results of sociological surveys of organizations that have been working for a long time and publish the results of their research? % surveyed 

 

2002

2004

2009

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Yes

36

47

45

51

46

48

50

50

47

43

42

41

Difficult to answer

32

37

35

34

37

40

36

35

41

35

36

36

No

29

13

14

13

15

9

10

14

11

20

21

21

Refusal to answer

3

3

6

2

2

3

4

2

1

3

1

1

The trust and distrust balance

7

34

31

38

31

39

40

36

36

23

21

20