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Poll: Fewer than 50% of Ukrainians believe war will end with restoration of 1991 borders

by Nate Ostiller April 4, 2024 12:49 PM 2 min read
A view of Yalta, the major resort city of the Crimean peninsula, on June 18, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images)
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Only 45% of Ukrainians said they believe the war will end with Ukraine restoring its 1991 borders, the Ukrainian media outlet NV reported on April 4, citing a poll conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI).

Kyiv has vowed to liberate all of the territories occupied by Russia, including Crimea. Previous polls have indicated that an overwhelming majority of Ukrainians are opposed to territorial concessions in exchange for peace.  

According to the IRI poll, the 45% still represented a plurality.

Tied for second place at 16% were two options: Ukraine would regain all of the territory it held up to the beginning of the full-scale war (excluding Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts occupied since 2014), and that Russia would gain some additional territories.  

The 45% of respondents who believed that Ukraine would regain all of its territory represented a decrease from a high point in February 2023, in which 74% of respondents believed it was possible.

There was also a generational divide present in the most recent poll, with younger people ages 18-35 less likely (37%) to believe the 1991 borders would be restored, compared to those 51+, 52% of whom believed it was possible.

Despite the less-than-optimistic results, 39% of respondents still said that the restoration of 1991 borders was one of the most important goals of the war.

NV wrote that the survey was conducted throughout Ukraine, excluding territories occupied by Russia.

Duda voices doubt about Crimea’s liberation, prompts responses from Polish, Ukrainian officials
Speaking at the interview, President Andrzej Duda said that Ukraine, with Western support, must resist Russian occupation and imperialism but added that it is “hard to answer” whether Kyiv will be able to liberate the occupied peninsula.
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