As Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine enters its third year, there is no obvious end in sight. Despite the destruction and chaos inflicted by Moscow, the Ukrainians have not backed down. Instead, their morale remains high, resistance remains strong, and the Ukrainians are determined to win the war no matter the cost.

Ukraine’s strength of spirit is symbolized in its national flower. Standing tall and bright, the sunflower is known for surviving tough conditions and overcoming whatever challenges it may face to continue to shine. This is precisely what the Ukrainians have done during the war.

Public opinion polling from a variety of institutions has also captured this Ukrainian resolve.

Indeed, the results from four independently conducted surveys highlight the strong will and determination of the Ukrainian people. Two years on from the full-scale Russian invasion, most Ukrainian citizens trust their president and the military. They believe their country will win the war and they do not want to enter forced negotiations with Russia. Instead, they want to ensure victory rather than sign a forced peace agreement with Russia.


Highlights from the surveys are as follows:

Gallup survey:

  • 95 percent of Ukrainians remain confident in their military
  • 91 percent believe that, for Ukraine to declare victory, all of its territory must be restored to its 1991 borders
  • 81 percent approve of President Volodymyr Zelensky.
  • The majority still want “Ukraine to keep fighting until it wins

Public opinion survey by the International Republican Institute (IRI):

  • 96 percent approve of the actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU)
  • 94 percent of Ukrainians believe their country will win the war
  • 85 percent believe that Ukraine has a bright future ahead.
  • 82 percent approve of Zelensky

Public opinion poll by The National Democratic Institute (NDI):

  • 93 percent trust the AFU
  • 88 percent believe that, for Ukraine to declare victory, its 1991 borders must be restored.
  • 77 percent are confident about Ukraine’s future
  • 63 percent trust Zelensky (the survey found his popularity to have declined)

Public opinion poll by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology:

  • 80 percent said that Ukraine should not give up any of its territory under any circumstance to Russia
  • 66% trust the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine
  • 64 percent support Zelensky

Based on these results, it is puzzling why some members of the international community have called on Ukraine to negotiate with Russia. According to recent reports, elected officials, policymakers, and academics in the US and Europe have called on Ukraine and Russia for a ceasefire. Some argue that sending aid to Ukraine is too expensive while others say that the war cannot be won. They think that only a ceasefire will end the war, and naively assume that Russia would uphold an agreement with Russia.

These Western takes, however, completely ignore Ukrainian goals and desires. While these individuals call for an end to the war, Ukrainians continue to gain ground on the battlefield. Several towns and villages have been liberated since the start of the invasion. Ukraine has now reclaimed more than half of the Russian-occupied territory in the south and east. The Russians were also forced entirely out of northern Ukraine.


Yes, progress on the battlefield has recently been slow. The Ukrainians are struggling to gain ground in the heavily fortified regions that Russia occupies, and there are now concerns about Ukrainian ammunition shortages. But the Ukrainians have still performed remarkably well against the Russians.

To date, Russia has lost “87 percent of the total number of active-duty group troops it had [prior to the invasion].” In addition, “two-thirds of [Russia’s] pre-invasion tanks” have been destroyed, and 20 percent of Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet has been destroyed. These statistics do not suggest that Russia is winning the war. Instead, it highlights how Ukraine is succeeding in defeating its invaders.

Overall, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been devastating. Thousands have lost their lives during the brutal war, and it is likely that the war will continue for the foreseeable future. Ukrainians would like nothing more than for the conflict to end. But public opinion polls show that the war needs to end on Ukraine’s terms. They will not accept anything else, and the last two years have demonstrated that the Ukrainians are capable of winning the war against Russia.


The Ukrainians are determined to defeat Russia, and they believe they will win. Perhaps international observers should listen to their Ukrainian counterparts.

Mark Temnycky is an accredited freelance journalist covering Eurasian affairs and a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. He can be found on X @MTemnycky

The views expressed are the author’s and not necessarily of Kyiv Post.

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