Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Majority of Ukrainians name the economic crisis the main event of the year


In response to the question “Overall what do you think - are events in Ukraine developing in the right or the wrong direction?”, only 3.2% of the respondents replied that events were going in the right direction. 85.4% expressed the opposite view. These findings are considerably worse than at the end of 2007.

Assessments of changes in Ukraine in various areas during 2008 are extremely negative and also much worse than at the end of 2007.  Largely negative changes are seen in all spheres of life. Changes in prices and tariffs, in the economic situation in the country and as regards confidence in the future were most negatively evaluated.

Asked to name the Politician of the Year, as in the previous year’s survey, Yulia Tymoshenko was most often named, however the percentage of those citing her halved (from 30.7% to 17.8%).  The next most often mentioned was Viktor Yanukovych at 10.6%., then Arseny Yatsenyuk (until recently Speaker of Parliament) with 9.1%  Almost half of those surveyed named Viktor Yushchenko the Political Disappointment of the Year. 

As regards the Event of 2008, the economic crisis was most often named (16.1%) as the political event in the country, while in the world the US presidential elections were first (21.2%), then the economic crisis (20.2%( and in third place the war between Russia and Georgia (10.4%).

Support for Viktor Yushchenko is extremely low (his actions were not supported by 76.4%) which was around the same in October. Yulia Tymoshenko’s support had dropped since October, as had Yanukovych’s. On the other hand, fewer people than in October did not support the actions of Yatsenyuk and Volodymyr Lytvyn (the new Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada).

Despite the difficult domestic situation the majority of citizens (57 %) if they had the choice to leave would stay in Ukraine. 18% would choose to live in the EU, 16% in Russia.

A relative majority (45%) think that Ukraine needs to join the EU, while a third (35%) do not support this, and one in five (20%) were undecided.  18% were for joining NATO in the near future, while 56% did not support this, and a further 17% were undecided.

A majority (58%) described relations between Ukraine and Russia as unstable, however the assessment of their future course was not pessimistic. One in four (27%) believed that Ukrainian-Russian relations would improve in the coming years.

With regard to problems which most hinder Ukraine’s European integration, respondents stressed domestic factors: a low level of economic development and insufficient rate of reform (71%) and a high level of corruption (64%).

Only 4% of those surveyed consider that Yushchenko and Yushchenko have a single, coordinated foreign policy. The overwhelming majority (89%) stressed that the President and Prime Minister were carrying out their own policy in the foreign political sphere. They think that more success has been achieved in relations with the USA and the EU, while less in relations with Russia.


The survey was carried out by the Razumkov Centre from 17-24 December 2008. 2017 respondents aged 18 and above from all parts of Ukraine were surveyed.

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