The majority of Ukrainians (79%) want to have closed borders and visas with the Russian Federation. Only 10% want the states to be friendly, and 1% want the unification of the countries into one. This is evidenced by the results of the sociological survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS).

“For more than 15 years, KIIS has been asking respondents a monitoring question about how Ukrainians see Ukraine’s relations with Russia. In May 2023, KIIS again asked this question in its survey, and it is appropriate to consider the dynamics of views over 10 years… Before the Revolution of Dignity, the vast majority of Ukrainians (70%) wanted to see the countries as independent but friendly states… After the occupation of Crimea and the beginning of the war in Donbas, the share of those who believed that relations should be like with other states increased significantly (from 15% to 44%), although 48% still believed that the countries should remain friendly,” reads the text of the research.

voting, referendum

Experts note that after the large-scale invasion, the share of those who want to have closed borders, visas, and customs with the aggressor state increased to 79%, the same figure as in July 2022.

“As of now, in all regions of Ukraine, the vast majority of the population wants to have closed borders, visas, and customs with Russia. In particular, 75% of residents of the east and 73% of residents of the south think so,” sociologists say.

They add that the current indicators, which testify to an outright negative attitude towards Russia and ordinary Russians and the desire to be “fenced off” firmly, are precisely the result of the aggression of the Russian Federation and not the other way around.

Separately, researchers pay attention to achieving consensus among residents of different regions. Before the large-scale invasion, one could see quite marked differences of opinion in different regions, but now both residents of the east and the west confidently insist on closed borders, visas, and customs with Russia.

Bohdan Marusyak

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