- 70% of Ukrainians favor fighting to win
- More Ukrainians closer to ground war favor a quick end
- 91% who back the war define victory as retaking all seized territory
This article is the first in a series based on Gallup's surveys in Ukraine in early September.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More than six months into a war that many around the world (including Russia) thought Ukraine would lose quickly, most Ukrainians are resolved to keep fighting.
A clear majority -- 70% of all Ukrainians interviewed in early September -- say their country should continue fighting until it wins the war with Russia. Just over one in four (26%) favor negotiating to end it as soon as possible.
Gallup collected these data Sept. 2-11 across all regions of Ukraine, including the Donbas, as the country's military successfully retook swathes of Russian-held territory but before the recent retaliatory missile attacks across the country.
At that time, majorities of Ukrainians from all major demographic subgroups favored continued fighting to win the war. However, there are substantial differences in the levels of support among these groups. One of the largest divides is by gender, with 76% of Ukrainian men in favor of fighting the war until it is won, compared with 64% of women who say the same.
Support for continuing to fight is stronger in regions farthest from the ground war and weaker in parts of Ukraine where people are closest to the action. Backing for the war effort is highest in places such as the country's capital, Kyiv (83%), and in the West (82%), Central (78%) and North (75%) regions of the country. Much smaller majorities in the country's East (56%) and South (58%) support continuing the war.
What Does Victory Mean to Ukrainians?
Ukrainians who said their country should fight on until victory were asked a follow-up question about what would have to happen for Ukraine to declare victory. About nine in 10 (91%) said that victory would entail Ukrainian forces retaking all territory that Russia has seized since 2014, including Crimea.
Amid the success of Ukraine's counteroffensive that started in late August, the country's public is tremendously optimistic about continuing to fight the war until victory is achieved and what that victory would look like. While the Ukrainians have tasted victory on the battlefield, the war is far from over.
The most recent spate of Russian missile attacks on Ukrainian cities and towns, far behind the front lines, have focused on civilian infrastructure. And, while ballistic missile attacks in the past have not broken the will of civilian populations to fight, Ukrainians' attitudes may shift if they are faced with a cold, dark winter due to the Russian attacks on infrastructure and increasing energy costs -- or, alternatively, such continued attacks may further strengthen the resolve of the population to fight.
To stay up to date with the latest Gallup News insights and updates, follow us on Twitter.
For complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.
Learn more about how the Gallup World Poll works.