Two polls of Ukrainians have come out recently. I figured I’d take a look at them.

Trust, and the lack thereof

Look at the most recent poll done May 11-16 by the Democratic Initiative fund and the Razumkov Centre and it’s a bit obvious: Ukrainians’ trust in their public institutions is really low.

  • President Poroshenko’s balance between trust and distrust (i.e., the percentage of those who trust him minus those who distrust him) has actually dropped from +5 only a year and a half ago (…food for thought now that Nadiya Savchenko is finally back in town)
  • Trust in the Rada is low, but it’s actually improved since December 2015 (-74%)
  • Only one in ten Ukrainians trust the courts or the prosecutor’s office

Ouch.

On the flip side, Ukrainians’ trust in the police has shot up dramatically – more than 50% in under a year:

  • July 2015: -57% trust/distrust
  • December 2015: -24%
  • May 2015: -5%
f_13268331711435774452
Some of Ukraine’s (trusted) new police officers. (http://www.digestagency.com/2015/07/2015-07-04-eng-new-patrol-police-service-went-to-capital-s-streets.html)

This is a success story that can’t get lost, even amidst all the minus signs in the big table below.

May 11-16, 2016 Do not trust Tend not to trust Tend to trust Fully trust Difficult to answer Don’t trust (total) Trust (total) Balance
President of Ukraine 40% 30% 19% 4% 7% 70% 23% -48%
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine 48% 32% 13% 1% 6% 79% 14% -65%
Government of Ukraine (newly appointed) 41% 29% 15% 2% 14% 70% 16% -54%
Armed Forces of Ukraine 15% 19% 44% 12% 11% 34% 55% 22%
National Guard of Ukraine 15% 18% 40% 13% 15% 33% 53% 20%
Police 20% 25% 34% 6% 16% 44% 40% -5%
Security Service of Ukraine 27% 28% 27% 4% 14% 55% 31% -24%
Local authorities 23% 30% 33% 5% 10% 53% 38% -15%
Courts 52% 29% 8% 1% 10% 81% 9% -72%
Prosecutor 52% 28% 9% 1% 10% 80% 10% -70%
Church 13% 14% 37% 23% 13% 27% 60% 33%
Mass media of Ukraine 19% 26% 39% 7% 9% 45% 46% 1%
Mass media in Russia 63% 22% 3% 1% 11% 86% 3% -82%
Public organizations 15% 20% 37% 8% 19% 35% 46% 11%
Volunteers 10% 12% 39% 17% 22% 22% 56% 34%
Banks 44% 28% 13% 3% 12% 72% 16% -57%

Another Razumkov Center’s poll from the end of April doesn’t show anything too different:

  • Just under seven in ten people don’t trust President Poroshenko
    • …and now he’s got a Savchenko factor to worry about
  • Eight in ten don’t trust the Rada
  • Three-quarters don’t trust Volodymyr Groysman’s new government

Even worse, trust in the public prosecutor’s office is extremely low, almost as low as trust in Russian media, as is trust in the state apparatus as a whole. If your state institutions are are as trusted as Russian media, you’ve got problems.

But Ukrainians generally trust volunteer organizations, the Armed Forces and the church. They also trust volunteer battalions (interestingly), the National Guard and the new police.

April 22-26, 2016 Do not trust Tend not to trust Tend to trust Fully trust Difficult to answer Don’t trust (total) Trust (total) Balance
President of Ukraine 37% 32% 22% 3% 7% 69% 25% -45%
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine 46% 34% 14% 1% 5% 80% 15% -66%
Government of Ukraine 44% 31% 15% 1% 9% 75% 16% -59%
Public prosecutor’s office 52% 32% 9% 1% 6% 84% 10% -74%
Police 34% 31% 22% 3% 10% 65% 25% -41%
State apparatus (government officials) 50% 38% 7% 1% 6% 88% 8% -80%
Courts 54% 29% 9% 2% 6% 83% 11% -73%
Armed Forces of Ukraine 14% 16% 50% 12% 8% 30% 62% 32%
Ukraine National Guard 15% 17% 44% 13% 10% 32% 57% 25%
Volunteer battalions 17% 13% 41% 17% 11% 30% 58% 28%
Police patrol (new) 15% 18% 36% 8% 23% 33% 44% 11%
Anti-corruption bureau 30% 26% 18% 4% 23% 56% 22% -34%
Security Service of Ukraine 31% 24% 28% 4% 14% 55% 32% -24%
Regional (oblast) administrations 29% 35% 24% 1% 11% 64% 25% -38%
Regional (raion) administrations 26% 34% 26% 2% 13% 60% 28% -31%
Local governments 24% 27% 34% 4% 12% 51% 38% -13%
National Bank of Ukraine 52% 29% 10% 1% 9% 81% 11% -69%
Commercial banks 52% 31% 9% 1% 7% 83% 10% -73%
Media Ukraine 21% 27% 40% 4% 7% 48% 44% -4%
Russian media 58% 26% 6% 1% 10% 84% 7% -77%
Western media 26% 26% 25% 3% 20% 52% 28% -24%
Trade unions 27% 31% 20% 3% 20% 58% 23% -35%
Church 13% 16% 41% 20% 11% 29% 61% 32%
Political parties 44% 34% 9% 1% 12% 78% 10% -69%
NGOs 15% 23% 42% 5% 15% 38% 47% 9%
Volunteer organizations 11% 13% 50% 14% 12% 24% 64% 40%

What should we make of the fact that Ukraine’s Armed Forces, police, National Guard and even its volunteer battalions are more trusted than the institutions of government?

Coup, junta, fascists, Nazis…whatever, the pieces are there. Make your own RT/Sputnik headline

…because both these polls give us more evidence of that propaganda trope being a festering pile of shit.

In the poll from April 22-26, 5.5% of voters said they’d vote for a far-right party in the Rada (4.8% Svoboda, 0.7% Pravyy Sektor, and [drumroll] a whopping 0.0% for Dmytro Yarosh’s National Movement. Guess he’d better print more business cards.

Worse still for these guys, Oleh Tyahnybok (whose name I will never be able to spell unassisted) and Dmytro Yarosh each were the favoured presidential candidate of 1.6% of Ukrainians.

So, combined 3.2% of Ukrainians said they’d vote for a far right presidential candidate. Much lower than Austria’s 49%.

In the poll from May 11-16, 6.1% of voters said they’d vote for a far-right party in the Rada (3.6% Svoboda, 1.8% for Dmytro Yarosh’s National Movement and 0.7% Pravyy Sektor).

(Buuuuut OMG why 1.8% here and 0.0% a few weeks earlier for Yarosh OMG?? It’s within the survey’s margin of error. Settle down.)

Please throw these figures at the next troll you see.

“Yeah, but how does Ukraine make you feel?

The May poll asked Ukrainians what feelings they experience when they think about the future of Ukraine (I’ve included the original Ukrainian if any fluent/native speakers would translate the word differently).

May 11-16, 2016 (Original) December 2015 May 2016
Optimism Оптимізм 20% 16%
Indifference Байдужість 3% 4%
Joy Радість 1% 1%
Hopelessness Безвихідь 17% 19%
Certainty Упевненість 5% 5%
Perplexity Розгубленість 18% 22%
contentment Задоволеність 1% 2%
Pessimism Песимізм 9% 15%
Hope Надія 39% 35%
Anxiety Тривога 39% 39%
Interest Інтерес 5% 7%
Fear Страх 15% 20%
Other Інше 1% 2%
DIFFICULT TO ANSWER 1% 3%

On the one hand, it’s worrying to see almost two in five Ukrainians say they feel anxious about the future, let alone one in five saying they feel hopeless and/or fearful about the future.

On the other hand, that надія (which, yes, even I can figure out without a dictionary) is…well, hopeful.

If 35 percent of people in this country can say something like “yeah, I feel hopeful about the future,” in spite of everything that’s gone on here, then I should be hopeful too, right?

Advertisements