Ukrainians may not rank President Volodymyr Zelensky as highly as Western audiences seemingly do, if the findings of a new survey of public opinion are to be believed.

In a face-to-face, nationwide survey with 2017 Ukrainians from representative backgrounds, it was revealed that Ukrainians put their President in fourth place in terms of those who have made the biggest contribution to Ukraine’s initial war-time successes. In this regard, Time Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year 2022’ was ranked behind Ukraine’s armed forces, the entire Ukrainian nation and Ukraine’s mobilised volunteers and most patriotic citizens.

“While the President of Ukraine has an extremely high level of legitimacy and acknowledgement for his role in Ukraine’s defense, only 24% of survey respondents selected him and his government as the biggest contributors,” the survey (conducted by the Razumkov research agency for the Democratic Initiatives Fund) found.


At the same time, when it comes to individuals, Ukrainians generally only credit two specific identities for positively contributing to their country’s defense: President Zelensky (65% positive recognition) and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny (47% positive recognition). All other personalities have levels of support of under 10%.

Ukrainians also have strong views about world leaders and who has (or hasn’t) been supportive of their country’s defence during the Russian full-scale invasion.

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In their view, the top three international leaders are US President Joe Biden (58% positive recognition), Polish President Andrej Duda (50% positive recognition), and former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (49% positive recognition). It’s a long way back to the other runners after that,with French President Emmanuel Macron in fourth position with only 10% positive recognition.

Conducted in late March 2023 and with a declared margin of error of 2.3%, the survey also established that:


·      94% of Ukrainians believe that Vladimir Putin is equivalent to Adolf Hitler.

·      66% of Ukrainians believe that the Russian-controlled branch of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine has contributed to Russian aggression.

·      92% of Ukrainians believe that Ukraine will be victorious with slightly weaker support levels in the country’s southern regions.

·      Ukrainians believe that Poland (68.5% positive recognition), the US (67.4% positive recognition) and Great Britain (45.5% positive recognition) have played particularly important roles in supporting Ukraine. Recognition falls away steeply after that with Germany in fourth place with only 17.6% recognition.

·      The sinking of Russia’s ‘Moskva’ battleship is the most memorable war-time event for Ukrainians.

·      The battle around and for Kyiv is the most impactful event for Ukrainians.

·      The three most notorious Russian war crimes of the full-scale invasion are the brutal events at Bucha, the bombing of the Mariupol drama theatre and the mass executions of Ukrainian troops defending the Azovstal industrial plant.


·      The three events that give Ukrainians the most positive emotions were the liberation of Kherson, the defense of Kharkiv and the de-occupation of the Kyiv region.

·      The aspects that give Ukrainians the most hope and optimism about the future are military aid and other support from foreign allies and Ukrainian military counterattacks and de-occupation.

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Comments (3)
Barney Ross
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I can't understand how Ukraine would have a bisexual leader whose humor is filthy. This guy could not fight on the front lines. He boost as thogh he is mister tough guy, but he is full of crap, a joke.
And in WWII, Ukraine supported the Third Reich.
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I think Zelensky is doing a great job in getting world recognition for Ukraine. Is there any other person one would care to name who would do a better job? The trouble with polling is that gives everyone a chance to feel important and to be critical in an attempt to display their perceived superiority. I love Ukraine and was an election monitor several times. My parents were born in east Ukraine. But after all, Ukrainians are just like other people.
Jimmy Zuma
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The polling ranking represents what happens in a true democracy. In a dictatorship, the dictator is generally seen as the maker and breaker of all things. In a democracy, the people are responsible and credited with successes and failures. That's the nature of free states.