Half of Ukrainians believe Zelensky not up to task of defending Ukraine against Russian invasion – poll

2 February 2022, 07:11 PM

More than half of Ukrainians, 55%, believe that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would not be able to organize Ukraine’s defense in the event of a full-fledged Russian invasion, according to a survey published by the Ukrainian Razumkov Center think tank on Feb. 2.

Only a little over 25% of Ukrainians thought Zelensky was up to the job.

The numbers follow partisan lines, with over 85% of self-declared Servant of the People’s voters, Ukraine’s current ruling party founded by Zelensky himself, believing that Zelensky is competent enough to defend the country effectively.

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However, most people who voted for other prominent political parties reported their belief that Zelensky is incapable of defending Ukraine.

Ukrainian opinions also vary on Zelensky’s recent statements intended to provide reassurance in the light of the threat of a further Russian invasion. Nearly 25% of Ukrainians felt reassured by Zelensky’s statement, while a little more than 10% reported feeling more panicked. However, most of the respondents polled, 60%, said that they had ignored Zelensky’s statements entirely.

The survey was conducted over the period from Jan. 28 to Jan. 31. Nearly 1,300 people from all parts of Ukraine, except for the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula and the occupied regions of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, took part by means of a phone interview, with a margin of error of around 3%.

Since the end of Oct. 2021, Russia has been massing troops to the Ukrainian borders. Russia has since deployed more than 130,000 troops and offensive weapons near the Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

International media have speculated that Russia may invade Ukraine in early 2022, in an operation that could involve up to 200,000 Russian soldiers.

The Kremlin says the troop movements are an internal affair of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of planning “provocations,” and alleged that Kyiv plans to regain control of the occupied territories by military means. The Kremlin has failed to back up any of its allegations with evidence, however.

Russian troops have also been deployed to Belarus, as part of previously unscheduled ‘military exercises.’ However, Russian equipment has been spotted along the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, far from the announced zone of the ‘exercise’ area.

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