One in every four residents of the South and the East of Ukraine wants Ukraine to join the EU, 14% — the Customs Union — survey
One in every four residents of the East and the South of Ukraine wants Ukraine to join the European Union, while joining NATO and the Customs Union enjoys significantly poorer support (13% and 14%, respectively). At the same time, around the third of the residents are still undecided on the issue.
These are the results of the survey of residents of eight oblasts of the South and the East of Ukraine, which was conducted in the beginning of 2017 by the company GfK commissioned by the Institute of Mass Information with the support of the Ukraine Confidence Building Initiative (UCBI) and USAID.
Support of Ukraine joining the EU and NATO stays on the same level as the last year, while support of the Customs Union went down from 18% in 2016 to 14%.
Support to joining the EU is most popular in Dnipropetrovska (35%) and Khersonska (32%) oblasts, and least popular — in the unoccupied part of Donetska oblast (9%).
Residents of Zaporizka and Mykolayivska oblasts expressed the highest level of support to the idea of joining NATO (19% in each). The lowest level of support was expressed in Donetska oblast (4%).
Joining the Customs Union enjoys the most support in Odeska oblast (22%). The least support to this idea was observed in Kharkivska (8%), Zaporizka and Khersonska oblasts (9% each).
It should be pointed out that in several oblasts, an extremely large share respondents avoided giving a clear answer to the listed questions. In Donetska oblast, it varies from 41-42% on the issues of joining the EU and NATO to 46%, when the question is about joining the Customs Union. In Luhanska and Mykolayivska oblasts, 36-38% respondents also found it difficult to answer the question about joining the Customs Union. According to the sociologist Andriy Marusov, «One should treat with caution the distribution of opinions in these oblasts, as it is impossible to know for sure what share of those who chose the answer ‘Hard to say’ are indeed unsure about their stance on the question asked and what share of them is afraid to express their opinion due to a variety of reasons ».
Among those who identify as Ukrainian, there are almost twice as many supporters of joining the EU, than among the respondents that identify as Russian (27% and 16%, respectively). And, vice versa, the share of those, who support joining the Customs Union, is twice as large among ethnic Russians than among Ukrainians (26% and 12%, respectively).
The respondents that speak Russian at home are more likely to support joining the Customs Union (16%) than those, who speaks Ukrainian (8%).
Support to joining the EU and NATO is the lowest among the respondents, which consider themselves to belong to the poorest stratum of the population. It also goes down with age of the respondents, and support to joining the Customs Union, to the contrary, goes up. Also, among respondents with higher education, there are more supporters of joining the EU.
The survey was conducted by the company GfK commissioned by the Institute of Mass Information with the support of the Ukraine Confidence Building Initiative (UCBI) and USAID in January-March of 2017 in eight oblasts of the East and the South of Ukraine (Dnipropetrovska, Kharkivska, Zaporizka, Mykolayivska, Khersonska and Odeska oblasts, the territories of Donetska and Luhanska oblasts under control of the Ukrainian government). The survey covered 15,103 respondents. The theoretical margin of error for the entire sample does not exceed 1% and 2.5% for each oblast with probability of 0.95. The first wave of the research was conducted in November 2015 – January 2016 and covered 13, 830 respondents in six oblasts of the East and the South of Ukraine (all listed above, except for Khersonska and Mykolayivska oblasts).