Nearly Half of Ukrainians Open To ‘Compromise’ With Russia To End War: Poll

US

Support among Ukrainians for a negotiated settlement to end the war started by Russia has increased over the last nine months to nearly half of the population, according to a poll.

As the war grinds on into the winter amid high losses on both sides, there are no signs as yet that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are seeking talks to either pause or end the war.

Zelensky has repeatedly stated that among Kyiv’s war aims is the recapture of Russian-occupied territory in the Donbas region and Crimea, which Putin illegally annexed in 2014.

However, a survey by the Ukrainian sociological firm Rating, which was widely reported in the media in both Russia and Ukraine, has suggested that people in Ukraine are more open to negotiations than they were in February.

Ukrainians observe a minute of silence on October 1, 2023, in Kyiv, Ukraine. A poll by Ukrainian firm Rating has found that 44 percent of people are open to talks to end the war started by Russia.
Getty Images

The poll found that in November, 44 percent of respondents believed it was necessary “to seek compromise solutions in negotiations involving other countries,” according to a translation of the Ukrainian.

This figure was up from 35 percent in February—one year on from the start of the full-scale invasion, according to the graph of the survey headlined “What do you think is the real way to end the war?”

It was also 35 percent in July 2023, one month after Ukraine started its counteroffensive aimed at taking back Russian-occupied territory.

While last month’s 44 percent figure is a slight dip from the 48 percent of respondents in September who believed in negotiations, the proportion of Ukrainians in favor of fighting until Russian-occupied territories are liberated has decreased over the course of this year.

In February, 60 percent of respondents said that the fighting should carry on “until all territories are liberated” but this decreased to 48 percent last month.

In reporting the findings, Ukrainian news outlet Strana noted how there were more supporters of compromise among younger Ukrainians aged 18-35 years (45 percent) and in the east of the country (51 percent).

Meanwhile, support for continuing the war was seen in the older group (36-50 years old) and in the west of the country at 50 percent each.

No margin for error was given in the survey and Newsweek has contacted Rating as well as the Ukrainian presidential office for comment.

Kommersant was among the Russian outlets reporting the findings which it framed as concluding that 48 percent of Ukrainians “are in favor of refusing negotiations with Russia and continuing hostilities until all territories are returned.”

“Ukrainians are almost equally divided on the question of how to end the military conflict with Russia,” Kommersant said, noting 44 percent “were in favor of ending hostilities.

In November, Bloomberg reported a poll by the company Russian Field which found almost half (48 percent) of Russians want Putin to open talks to end the war, the first time those wanting negotiations had surpassed those wanting to keep fighting, which numbered 39 percent.

As previously reported by Newsweek, the independent Russian research group Chronicles found that genuine support for the war among Russians was only 12 percent, compared with 22 percent in February as many felt the negative economic effects of the war.