By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Seven out of 10 Ukrainians say their country should continue fighting until it wins the war with Russia, which includes regaining Crimea.
A poll by Gallup, conducted in early September and released on October 18, showed 70 percent of Ukrainians favor fighting until victory, while 91 percent who back the war define victory as retaking all territory seized by Russia, including Crimea, which Moscow illegally annexed in 2014.
Only 26 percent of respondents said Ukraine should seek to negotiate an ending to the war as soon as possible.
The poll, conducted across all regions of the country, was taken from September 2 to 11, just days after Ukraine began a counteroffensive that has pushed Russian troops out of many areas they had taken control of since launching their unprovoked invasion in late February.
Since then, Russia has launched a barrage of air and drone attacks focused on the country’s civilian infrastructure, leaving many areas with limited or no energy and water supplies as winter quickly approaches.
“Support for continuing to fight is stronger in regions farthest from the ground war and weaker in parts of Ukraine where people are closest to the action,” Gallup said, noting that backing for the war effort is highest in places such as the country’s capital, Kyiv (83 percent), and in the West (82 percent).
“While ballistic missile attacks in the past have not broken the will of civilian populations to fight, Ukrainians’ attitudes may shift if they are faced with a cold, dark winter due to the Russian attacks on infrastructure and increasing energy costs — or, alternatively, such continued attacks may further strengthen the resolve of the population to fight,” Gallup added.