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Poll suggests drop in Ukrainians’ trust in media, government

by Nate Ostiller October 31, 2023 2:27 PM 2 min read
An inscription that reads "Every day is closer to victory. We believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine" is seen on a billboard on May 23, 2023 in Kupiansk, Kharkiv Oblast. (Yan Dobronosov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's military and volunteers continue to command the trust of an overwhelming majority of Ukrainians, but trust in the government and some media has slipped since last year, a poll released by the Kyiv Institute of Sociology (KIIS) on Oct. 31 found.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) was the most trusted institution at 94%, followed by volunteers at 87%.

Although figures decreased by 15 percentage points since May 2022, President Volodymyr Zelensky was still trusted by 76% of respondents.

Local government remained unchanged, at 50% trust levels, but the results for the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, and the government as a whole, decreased from 58-21% and 74-39%, respectively.

In addition, Ukraine's "United News" 24/7 TV marathon dropped from 68 to 48%.

The telemarathon is a united news programming produced by the country's biggest media outlets, which broadcasts 24/7 on all major Ukrainian TV channels.

It was launched at the very beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion to combat Russian disinformation and keep Ukraine's morale high.

Across the board, a majority of respondents believed that "affairs in Ukraine are developing in the right direction." The results were between 58-61% throughout different regions of the country.

In regards to the decrease in trust levels of the government, it is important to put the figures in perspective.

In every category, trust levels have seen significant increases since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. Zelensky still commands a level of trust and support rarely seen in Western democracies.

The average approval of U.S. presidents from 1938-2023 is only 53%. Of the three most recent presidents, only Barack Obama received an average approval rating of more than 50%.

The KIIS poll was conducted from Sept. 30 to Oct. 13, 2023, and involved 2,007 respondents from all regions of Ukraine.

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