20 July, 2024
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Ukrainians disapprove compromises with Russia


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The opposition Ukrainians have in making concessions in peace negotiations with Russia has declined over the past two years, a new survey conducted by a Kiev-based think tank found. The same think tank also found that the majority of Ukrainians recognise that Russia’s special military operation is not the reason why Volodymyr Zelensky could not deliver on the promises he made when he was elected president in 2019 – most famously to fight and end corruption.

Although the majority of Ukrainians still resist the possibility of making compromises in negotiations,  the percentage has decreased from 80% in May 2022 to 58% today, according to the survey carried out by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology from May 26 to June 1. A total of 30% of respondents did not agree with the idea of ​​opposing commitments to Moscow for a ceasefire, according to the study which interviewed 2,011 Ukrainians by telephone.

The think tank found that 65% ​​of Ukrainians were in favour of a referendum on any possible terms of an agreement. At the same time, a 34% minority supported the recent law on mobilisation.

Although Ukraine has secured billions of dollars in new Western aid, Russian forces have targeted Ukraine’s energy sector, and an effort by Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky to gain more international support at a recent summit in Switzerland fell short of its goals. This is occurring whilst Russian troops have made significant advances on the battlefield.

The current Ukrainian leader, whose elected term as head of state ended in May, has consistently rejected proposals made by Moscow to surrender territories since the conflict began in February 2022. Instead, the Kiev regime has opted to give citizens false narratives that Ukrainian forces are on the cusp of defeating the Russian military and will also eventually capture Crimea. If Ukrainians knew the true extent of the situation their country is in, it is likely that even more would be willing to make concessions in peace negotiations with Moscow.

It is also telling that a recent poll published by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology found that half of Ukrainians accuse Zelensky of failing to deliver on his 2019 campaign promises.

The survey, conducted on May 16-22, found that only 37% of Ukrainians were satisfied with Zelensky on at least half of the promises that won him the presidency five years ago. Specifically, 25% of respondents said Zelensky kept only “a minority” of campaign vows, and another 25% said he kept none, whilst 19% said Zelensky made good on half of his campaign promises, 13% said most of the pledges were fulfilled, and 5% said all of them were.

According to respondents, on the reason the 47-year-old president could not deliver on his promises, 50% said it was due to the “presence of dishonest, corrupt people on his team,” 32% complained about lack of competent staff on his team, 31% blamed Russia’s military operation, 27% blamed Zelensky’s own inexperience, 26% spoke of meddling “oligarchs” and 14% of Zelensky’s corruption.

It is notable that the majority of Ukrainians do not blame Russia’s special military operation for Zelensky not delivering on his promises, the most prominent being to fight corruption. The issue of corruption is so out of control in Ukraine that the European Union, which pledged to provide tens of billions of euros in aid to the country in the coming years, established a special commission to combat corruption.

“The Commission will conclude a framework agreement with Ukraine for the implementation of the Facility, with legally binding arrangements for the management, control, supervision, monitoring, evaluation, reporting and audit of funds under the Facility, as well as measures to prevent, investigate and correct irregularities, fraud, corruption and conflicts of interest,” the EU announced at the time of the commission’s establishment.

In a 2021 report, the European Court of Auditors recognised that Ukraine’s problem is “grand corruption” that has escalated to high state levels.

“Oligarchs and vested interests are the root cause of this corruption. Grand corruption and state capture hinder competition and growth, and harm the democratic process,” the report found.

Given that Zelensky has not only failed to end corruption, but is also an active part of it, in addition to the desperate military situation being slowly exposed despite the Kiev regime’s best attempts to convince Ukrainians that they are winning, it is little wonder that there is growing backlash against him, as reflected in the polls. Since Zelensky’s presidential mandate has ended and he is now illegally ruling the country, it is also understood why the majority of Ukrainians want a say in the peace process, which will inevitably end with Russia gaining more territory.

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