Oslo Met survey in Ukraine: Great destruction – and great optimism

Ukraine protestPro-Ukrainian people wave Ukrainian flags during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Istanbul, Turkey, Feb. 28, 2022. Photo: AP Photo/Francisco Seco

According to a recent survey from the Oslo Met about conditions in the country, the biggest shortage affecting Ukraine is related to the lack of medicines. At the same time, 80% of people in Ukraine believe in the country’s victory.

“The telephone lines are open, and we were convinced that it is possible to carry out a survey,” researcher Aadne Aasland at the Urban and Regional Research Institute NIBR at Oslo Met told NTB.

Together with their Ukrainian partner Operatyvna Sotsiologija, they have investigated how the situation is now for people in Ukraine. The partner has collected answers from just over 3,000 Ukrainians, while the Norwegian researchers have contributed to the design of the questionnaire and the analysis of the answers.

Extensive damage

Among other things, they wanted to find out which needs for assistance are most urgent and what thoughts Ukrainians have about the future.

“A large majority is directly affected by the war,” Aadne said.

He points out that 66% have heard the air raid sirens where they live, that almost a third have experienced air raids, and that 4% report damage to their own home. The number of those who state that relatives and friends have had their housing damaged is 13%.

“At the same time, there is a lot of optimism, and the vast majority think Ukraine will win the war,” said Aadne, who referred to a figure of 80%, against 0.5% of those who think Russia will win.

Meaningful survey

The institute at Oslo Met has worked with the Ukrainian polling institute several times before, and Aadne says they have great faith in the data collected from March 13 to 23. The partner approached the Norwegian researchers about the investigation a week after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

“At first, we wondered if it was right to burden people with answering a survey in the middle of a war, but then we were reassured. The polling company says they have never received so much positive feedback,” Aadne said.

“The Ukrainians want to convey to the world how things are going. It is perceived as very meaningful,” he added.

Lack of medication

According to the survey, most people have access to food and water, but 12% say they lack medication.

“The biggest challenge is the lack of medication,” Aadne said.

In hard-hit cities such as Mariupol, much has been written about the lack of water and food, as well as medicines. Aadne points out that the survey shows large geographical differences.

“Everyone is affected, but they are not equally affected. Background information shows that areas where the Russian-speaking part of the population lives have been hardest hit,” Aadne said.

Opposing the demands

Despite the conditions, few Ukrainians want to give in to Russia’s demands, Aadne points out.

“More than three quarters say that Russia must return Crimea and the self-proclaimed republics in the east, in addition to Russia having to help rebuild Ukraine,” he said.

In 2014, Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula. A few days before the invasion of Ukraine in February, President Vladimir Putin recognized the two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine as independent.

The survey from Oslo Met has been sent to voluntary organizations working in Ukraine. The researchers will continue to monitor the conditions for Ukrainians and follow up with more studies. 

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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