When Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine, almost all international observers expected a Russian victory within days or at most weeks. The Ukrainians surprised us all. Anyone interested in foreign affairs has an opinion on the war, but how do Ukrainians feel? Thanks to an unprecedented effort by the International Republican Institute to conduct a national poll in wartime Ukraine, we now know what its people think of the conflict, its leaders, and the future of their country.
Several results stand out. First, President Volodymyr Zelensky gets a 94% approval rating. This is a startling turnaround for a leader who was previously seen as inexperienced and ineffective. After winning the election as a political novice with 73% of the vote, Mr Zelensky’s public approval rating had fallen to just 25% last October. But in times of national emergency, true leaders rise to the occasion. He excelled in the role of president-warrior and won the hearts of the people for whom he was elected.