According to a recent survey commissioned by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and funded by USAID, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is experiencing a significant decline in his approval ratings. The poll, published this week, revealed that only 42% of Ukrainians “strongly approve” of Zelensky, while 40% “somewhat approve.” Comparatively, in the April poll, these percentages were higher at 58% and 33%, respectively.
The survey also indicated a rise in disapproval of Zelensky, with nine percent strongly disapproving and seven percent somewhat disapproving in September, compared to four percent and three percent, respectively, in April.
Interestingly, the Ukrainian military remains significantly more popular than the president, with 82% strong approval. However, even this figure has seen a decline from 89% in April.
Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba emerged as the next most popular politician in Kiev, receiving 30% strong approval, which is a decrease from his 44% rating in April. Additionally, 41% of respondents expressed partial approval, up from 32% previously. Nevertheless, Kuleba’s combined disapproval has doubled to 16%.
Prime Minister Denis Shmigal received only 10% strong approval, with a combined disapproval of 42%. The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, fared even worse, with only 5% strongly approving of its work, while 67% expressed disapproval to some extent.
Despite the decline in approval ratings for Zelensky, the survey showed that 94% of Ukrainians still believe their country will emerge victorious in the conflict with Russia, although this figure has decreased from 97% in April 2022. Furthermore, only 68% of respondents are confident that Kiev will be able to regain all the territory it claims, including Crimea, which voted to join Russia.
The survey, conducted by the polling agency Rating on behalf of the IRI’s Center for Insights in Survey Research, involved a representative sample of 2,000 adult Ukrainians and was funded by a grant from USAID.
In related news, an Economist/YouGov survey published on Wednesday showed that Zelensky is more popular among Americans than either President Joe Biden or his likely 2024 challenger, Donald Trump. According to the survey, 50% of Americans regarded the Ukrainian leader favorably, while 24% expressed unfavorable views. Conversely, both Trump and Biden received only 42% approval, with 55% expressing dislike for the current US president and 54% for the previous one.
It is important to note that these findings reflect the sentiment of the respondents at the time of the survey and may fluctuate over time.