Strong world leaders – analysis of public opinion in Ukraine

Fighting the war against Russia, Ukrainians are now defending not only their borders but also the security of all of Europe. It is today that strong political figures who can consolidate their nations and respond decisively to military aggression are emerging. The war in Ukraine truly reveals the leaders of the contemporary world.

Until recently, those Ukrainians who identified themselves as Soviet people perceived the U.S. as something alien. While today the confidence of Ukrainians in President Biden is at its highest level – 85% (39% have very positive attitude, 46% – rather positive, Rating Group), being 20 percentage points more than before the war. This sentiment will only grow stronger given the recent approval of the lend-lease for Ukraine. All in all, Ukrainians’ attitude toward Biden have been rather positive since the beginning of his tenure, while views of Trump have been mixed.

However, Biden is not yet the most popular world leader among Ukrainians. For example, the popularity of the President of neighbouring Poland is sky high at 92%.

Boris Johnson, who recently visited Ukraine and walked the streets of Kiev with President Zelensky, has also become an undeniable idol for Ukrainians. A total of 88% of them now view him positively, with 71% very positively. And that’s taking into account that not long ago the majority of Ukrainians knew nothing about him.

It is the Polish and British leaders who are today the top-2 friends of Ukraine in the eyes of the nation and they both had already visited Ukraine during the war. By the way, the favourable attitude towards them began to increase even earlier in the context of a possible Ukraine-Poland-UK alliance.

Зеленський про Джонсона: ''Він уже вписав себе в історію'' | Українська  правда

Coming next in the rating of leaders is the president of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda, a close friend of Ukraine, who is positively perceived by 76%. If a year ago half of Ukrainians did not know him, today these are only 16%, while the rest perceive him positively, taking into account Lithuania’s all-round support and his personal visits.

The positive attitude towards Erdogan, who has played the role of mediator in the Ukrainian-Russian negotiations, has also grown significantly: 76% perceive him positively, although previously only 28% of Ukrainians had a good attitude towards him.

Roughly the same is the attitude of Ukrainians to Macron: 75% treat him rather positively. His image has also improved over time, although not as radically as for the others. There is still a negative attitude towards him among 20% of Ukrainians. Given the absence of decisive actions as well as the news about deliveries of spare parts for Russian by the French in 2015-2016, this situation is not at all surprising.

As for the German leader, the situation is quite the opposite. The German government’s sympathies for Russia and its ambiguous statements are very strongly felt in Ukraine: after the beginning of the war the attitude of the Ukrainians towards Olaf Scholz has significantly worsened and 54% of them treat him negatively and only 30% – positively. In the eyes of the warring nation, he is definitely not a fighter for justice. 

At the same time, Ursula von der Leyen, a German who supports Ukraine as head of the European Commission, is viewed positively by the majority – 66%, while the rest still know little about her. She managed to gain credibility with the nation largely thanks to her visit to Ukraine.

As regards the leaders of the countries that attacked Ukraine, Lukashenko and Putin, Ukrainians have no warm feelings towards them at all. The positive attitude to Lukashenko is at the level of only 3%, and to Putin it is 0%. It is safe to conclude that all those countries that explicitly articulate their negative attitude to the aggressor state and provide active assistance to Ukraine, will be highly respected by the nation of freedom fighters

Урсула вон дер Ляйен и Джозеп Боррель посетили Бучу

Ukrainians’ attitudes toward the world leaders, 26 april, Rating Group