The vast majority of Ukrainians support the abolition of the visa-free regime with Russia. This is evidenced by interview Kyiv International Institute of Sociology.
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For many years in a row, KIIS has been asking respondents what they would like to see Ukraine’s relations with Russia. Until 2014, the vast majority of Ukrainians answered: Ukraine and Russia should be independent, but friendly states – with open borders, without visas and customs.
At that time, only one in ten was in favor of the option with closed borders and visas.
After Russia occupied Crimea and started the war in Donbas, the number of responses was divided approximately 50/50.
“It is possible that the point is not in “friendly” relations, but in the fact that many Ukrainians have relatives in Russia and would like to leave the potential opportunity to see them without visa and customs barriers,” Anton Grushetsky, Deputy Director of KIIS, commented on the results of the study. .
In 2022, there was a final turning point. The July KIIS survey showed that the vast majority of Ukrainians – 79% – believe that there should be closed borders between Ukraine and Russia – with visas and customs.
Only 11% believe that Ukraine and Russia should be independent but friendly states with open borders without visas and customs. Only 1% of respondents are in favor of unification into one state.
“The aggressiveness of the Russian leadership and ‘ordinary’ Russians, along with the atrocities of the Russian army, buried the idea of ’friendly’ and ‘convenient’ relations. In all regions, this opinion absolutely prevails. Ukrainians, regardless of region or language, seek to isolate themselves from Russia,” Grushetsky said.
The KIIS survey involved 2,000 respondents located on the territory of Ukraine (except for the territories occupied before February 24, 2022). The statistical error for such a sample under normal conditions does not exceed 1.1-2.4%, but now a certain systematic deviation is added due to the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult to get through to respondents living in the territory that Russia occupied after February 24.
The study was conducted by telephone interview using a computer based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers.
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