12:56 12.03.2024

Most Ukrainians believe Russian language should be eliminated from official communication – KIIS poll

4 min read

As of February 2024, the majority of Ukrainians, namely 66%, believe that the Russian language should be eliminated from official communication, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS).

"Only 3% believe that the Russian language should receive the status of a second state language. And 24% believe that the Russian language can become official in regions where the majority want this," states the report based on the results of the study.

Moreover, among 24% who support official status in certain regions, 15% are against Russian becoming an official language in their region. Some 7% would like to make Russian official in their region, another 1% have not decided on their position.

"Thus, in 2024 in Ukraine there are 10% of those who would like to see Russian either as an official language in their area, or as a second state language in general. At the same time, 81% either want its elimination from official communication throughout the entire territory, or are against its use in their region," the researchers said.

It is noted that in the south of the country, some 69% support either the complete elimination of Russian from the official sphere, or at least are against Russian being the official language in their region. In contrast, 18% either want Russian to be the official language in their region, or even become the state language.

In the East, 52% support either complete removal from the official sphere or at least oppose Russian being the official language in their region. In contrast, 34% either want Russian to be the official language in their region, or even become the state language.

"It is important that in Ukraine, a normal (positive or neutral) attitude towards Russian-speaking fellow citizens is predominantly maintained, but the long-term course is the development of the Ukrainian language as an important component and symbol of the Ukrainian civil nation. The change in the paradigm of perception of the Ukrainian language in terms of age is noteworthy. Back in the beginning of 2000s (and indeed later), many associated the Ukrainian language as the language of older people and people from rural areas. Now we see that those who most insist on a single state and official status of the Ukrainian language are the youngest Ukrainians," KIIS Executive Director Anton Hrushetsky said.

The survey was conducted from February 17 to February 23 as part of the all-Ukrainian public opinion poll "Omnibus." Using the method of telephone interviews using a computer (computer-assisted telephone interviews, CATI) based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers (with random generation of phone numbers and subsequent statistical weighting), some 1,052 respondents living in all regions of Ukraine (except for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) were interviewed. The survey was conducted with adult (aged 18 years and older) citizens of Ukraine who, at the time of the survey, were living in the territory of Ukraine, which was controlled by the Ukrainian government. The sample did not include residents of territories that are temporarily not controlled by the Ukrainian authorities, and the survey was not conducted with citizens who travelled abroad after February 24, 2022.

Formally, under normal circumstances, the statistical error of such a sample (with a probability of 0.95 and taking into account the design effect of 1.1) did not exceed 3.4% for indicators close to 50%, some 3.0% for indicators close to 25%, some 2.1% – for indicators close to 10%, some 1.5% – for indicators close to 5%.

In war conditions, in addition to the specified formal error, a certain systematic deviation is added. In particular, if in May 2022, among all surveyed respondents, 2.5-4% lived in the territories occupied after February 24 (and this corresponded to the percentage of those living there, because the generation of telephone numbers was random), but now, due to the occupiers turning off the telephone Due to this, the sample did not include a single respondent who currently lived in occupied settlements (at the same time, out of a total of 1,052 respondents, 33 respondents lived in a settlement that is now occupied until February 24, 2022). It is noted that although the views of respondents living under occupation differed somewhat, the general trends were quite similar. That is, the inability to interview such respondents now does not significantly affect the quality of the results.