The Soviet past and May 9: how the opinion of Ukrainians has changed after the Russian invasion

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Soviet past and May 9: how Ukrainians' opinion changed after Russian invasion

Most Ukrainians are positive about the collapse of the Soviet Union. Half have changed their attitude towards the USSR.

This is evidenced by the results of a survey by the Ilko Kucheriv Foundation for Democratic Initiatives.

Latest results of the survey

Slightly more than half of Ukrainians say that Russia's attack on Ukraine was an incentive for them to rethink the Soviet past. Although this is a subjective assessment, previous questions showed a significant change in public opinion regarding historical memory compared to the period before the full-scale invasion.

52.8% of Ukrainians said that their attitude towards the USSR had changed, almost 35 % – has not changed.

Poll results/Screenshot

The vast majority of respondents say that the issues of historical memory and relevant state policy are important to them personally.

Poll results/Screenshot

Ukrainian opinion on May 9

Against the backdrop of a full-scale Russian invasion, the opinion of Ukrainians has also changed about how Ukraine should celebrate the victory over Nazism in World War II and the contribution of the Ukrainian people to this victory.

About a third of citizens believe that it is necessary to celebrate both dates, as it is happening now: both the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation on May 8 and the Day of Victory over Nazism on May 9. Another third believe that it is appropriate to celebrate the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation on 8 May. For 16%, it still seems appropriate to celebrate only May 9.

Note that in 2021, the option to celebrate the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation on May 8 was unpopular: it was supported by 9%. The option to celebrate only the Day of Victory over Nazism on May 9 was supported by 31%, and in the South and East of Ukraine this option was the most popular.

Poll results/Screenshot

Also, the majority of Ukrainians in all regions interpret the events on the Maidan as a just uprising of the people against the dictatorship, which was called the Revolution of Dignity. The Russian thesis about a “coup d'état” is still shared by 12% of respondents.

Research results/Screenshot

Compared to more such in the Southern and Eastern regions ( about 24% and 22%, respectively), but even there the carriers of such a belief do not make up the majority.

Back in August 2020, there were about 31% of those in Ukraine who were convinced by Russian propaganda that the events on the Maidan were a “coup d'état”, and in the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine this opinion dominated.

The survey was conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation together with the sociological service of the Razumkov Center with the support of the MATRA program from 13 to December 21, 2022.

It was attended by 2018 respondents aged 18 and over. The theoretical sampling error does not exceed 2.3%. At the same time, additional systematic deviations of the sample may be due to the consequences of Russian aggression, in particular, the forced evacuation of millions of citizens.

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