Observations of Public Attitudes in Donbas: Changes After the Elections in 2019, Emerging Risks amid the War and COVID-19 Pandemic

The Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation presented its new study of public attitudes in Donbas.

One of the key drivers of complete overhaul of the Ukrainian political system after presidential and early parliamentary elections in 2019 was a huge public demand for peace resolution in Donbas (the government-controlled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions).

Expectations of peace were especially strong in the government-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Comprehensive regional study, conducted by DIF in 2018-2019, showed that Ukrainian citizens in Donbas have lost trust in President Poroshenko’s policy and blamed the government for leaving them alone with their formidable troubles.

Thus landslide victory of Volodymyr Zelenskyi and his political party has become a time of hope revival for many residents of Donbas. It also created an incredible level of trust toward the new government which could have been used to shape views of the people about acceptable and viable policy options both for Donbas and the whole country.

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