IRI Ukraine Poll Shows Strong Confidence in President Zelensky, a Surge in Support for NATO Membership, Russia Should Pay for Reconstruction

Kyiv, Ukraine – The latest public opinion survey in Ukraine conducted by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research (CISR) shows sustained confidence in President Zelensky, a surge in support for NATO membership, and a strong desire for Russia to pay for post-war reconstruction.  

When asked about the activities of President Zelensky, 91% approved of his performance. Ninety-seven percent of Ukrainians believe they will win the war against Russia and 74% believe Ukraine will maintain all territories from within its internationally recognized borders defined in 1991. 

“Even after a year of relentless attacks from the criminal regime in Moscow, Ukrainians continue to rally behind their wartime leader, President Zelensky,” said Stephen Nix, IRI’s Senior Director for Eurasia. “Vladimir Putin has not only failed to dent their resolve, he’s hardened Ukrainian support for winning the war without any territorial concessions,” said Nix.  

The poll also showed that support for joining NATO has increased. Eighty-two percent would support joining NATO if a referendum were held today. That is an increase of ten percentage points from a poll in June 2022 and an increase of 23 percentage points from April 2022.  

Ukrainians believe that Russia should pay for any postwar reconstruction. Eighty-nine percent said that Russian seized assets or payments should finance damaged infrastructure. Further, 54% feel that reconstruction decisions should be made by the citizens of affected cities and towns while 37% support local elected authorities making those decisions.  

“Ukrainians are steadfast in their belief that Russia should pay for the damage they have caused,” said Nix. “They are also confident that their fellow citizens and local authorities will make the best decisions on how to rebuild their cities and towns when the war is over.”  


The survey was conducted by the Sociological Group “Rating” on behalf of the Center for Insights in Survey Research of the International Republican Institute throughout Ukraine (except for the in the occupied territories of Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts) from February 1-5th, 2023, through computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers.​ The total sample consists of n= 2,000 Ukrainians aged 18 and older.  The sample excludes any Ukrainians not currently in Ukraine.​ The survey data obtained was weighted by regional and age indicators using data by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine as of January 1, 2021.  The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level does not exceed 2 percentage points for the full sample.​ The response rate was 16 percent.  The study was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  

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