President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky took part in festivities on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of Independence of Ukraine.
At the Alley of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred, the head of state announced a moment of silence for those killed during the Revolution of Dignity.
“We begin the Day of Independence of Ukraine from the place where the best sons and daughters of Ukraine gave their lives and their future to preserve our independence. And today, our future says ‘thank you’ to all of them. May the memory of the deceased live forever,” Zelensky said.
The president of Ukraine and his wife also laid flowers to the Cross at the Alley of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred.
After the ceremony of hoisting the State Flag of Ukraine and performance of the State Anthem by the combined military orchestra of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the head of state congratulated Ukrainians on the 28th anniversary of Independence. He noted that August 24 was the most important day for Ukraine.
The president thanked the military men, who defend Ukraine in Donbas.
Zelensky also urged all Ukrainians to unite and build the country together.
“We are different. But we are united. We must be united, because only then we are strong. We should understand that we have to count only on ourselves. Not to quarrel over the past, but to unite for the future. Ukrainian-speaking and Russian-speaking, regardless of age, gender, religion, we must be one people. Not on posters, not on slogans, but here. In everyone’s heart. We must move forward, build the country together, do the impossible together,” the president said.
At the same time, he expressed confidence in the future development of the state because of the new generation formed in times of independence.
“Today, an entire generation, born in independent Ukraine, has already formed. For them, this is a normal state of affairs. It can’t be different for them. And that’s wonderful. Because this generation is our mental foothold. Foothold for freedom, democracy and development. They think differently, they think in a modern way, which means that Ukraine will only move forward,” he said.
The head of state also presented state awards in the framework of marking the 28th anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence.
A small percentage of Ukrainians are familiar with the contents of the Constitution of Ukraine, according to a survey conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation together with the sociological service of the Razumkov Center for the Center for Political and Legal Reforms. According to the release published on Thursday, almost half of the population (47%) has not read the text of the Constitution and about a third (32%) read only certain sections of it. Only 11% of the population is familiar with all sections. Of those who are acquainted with the contents of the Constitution, half did it in order to know their rights.
Almost half of the respondents (46%) know that, according to the Constitution, the people of Ukraine are the bearers of sovereignty and the source of power in the country, while 34% believe that the president is such a subject, with 8% found it difficult to answer this question.
“The majority of respondents (58%) view the Constitution as a means of securing human rights and freedoms, and at the same time only 17% of respondents believe that it should establish responsibilities for a citizen,” organizers of the survey said.
Among the majority of respondents, the conviction remains that the highest state bodies and officials constantly (38%) or often (43%) violate the Constitution. Among the reasons for the violation of the Constitution, most often mentioned was the neglect of laws and the right of officials (59%).
Almost two thirds of respondents (60%) are convinced that violation of the Constitution is unacceptable under any conditions and only 11% admit that the authority can violate the Basic Law if it contributes to faster decisions that will benefit society. At the same time, 18.5% believe officials can violate the Constitution if the goal is to benefit society.
“In relation to violations of the Constitution, Donbas region is highlighted, where 31% of respondents believe violating the Constitution is warranted if doing so benefits the public interest,” survey organizers said.
More than two thirds of those polled (67%) said the Constitution needs to be changed, with 35% believing this a topical issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Some 32% are sure that such changes are necessary, but only after the situation has stabilized in the country. Only 12% do not see the need to change the Constitution, while 20% don’t have an opinion.
The prevailing view is that an independent body including representatives of various branches of government and independent experts should propose changes to the Constitution. This position was supported by 37% of respondents. Only 18% believe the task should be entrusted to a special agency under the president, with 17% saying a special parliamentary commission should propose the changes. Only 13% said they would entrust the task to scientists and expert organizations of civil society.
If the new Constitution is adopted, the citizens consider the All-Ukrainian referendum as the best way to approve it (41%). Some 24% are ready to entrust this matter to a specially selected body and 19% to parliament.
More than half of citizens (56%) do not trust the Constitutional Court, while 22% of respondents trust the Constitutional Court.
Findings of a public opinion poll conducted by the Oleksandr Yaremenko Ukrainian Institute for Social Research, the Social Monitoring Center, and the Institute of Economics and Forecasting of Ukraine’s National Academy of Sciences show that the majority of Ukrainians trust President Volodymyr Zelensky and the country’s armed forces.
According to the poll results, which were presented at Interfax-Ukraine’s office on Thursday, almost 58% of Ukrainians generally trust Zelensky, 35.1% are more likely to trust the president, and 23% of citizens trust him completely. Former President Petro Poroshenko had the trust of 15% of respondents (11.3% and 3.7%, respectively).
The Ukrainian Armed Forces enjoy the trust of more than 64% of respondents, the National Police 30.7%, law enforcement agencies 30.6%, the SBU Security Service of Ukraine 29.9%, the Prosecutor General’s Office 18.4%, and the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) 15.3%.
Some 22.9% of Ukrainians have confidence in the National Bank of Ukraine, 14.8% in the Cabinet, 13.3% in political parties, and 10.3% in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament.
The poll was conducted in 24 Ukrainian regions and the city of Kyiv on May 10-18 and involved 2,100 people. The margin of error is between 1.31% and 2.18%.
About half of Ukrainians are counting on an improvement in the situation in the country after the presidential election and believe that the new team of the head of state should be given at least a year to achieve positive results. According to results of a survey conducted by the Sociological Group Rating during the past two weeks of April, 48% of respondents expect an improvement in the situation in the country as a result of presidential elections. Some 25% have no hopes for changes, another 10% expect deterioration. Residents in Ukraine’s southern and eastern regions are the most optimistic, along with younger respondents and supporters of showman and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky.
Half of respondents believe the new president’s team should be given at least a year to show positive results. Despite this, a quarter of respondents want their achievements to appear within six months, another 14% want to see them in three months and 8% are waiting for immediate changes. Among the young respondents, residents of southern and central Ukraine are slightly more than those who are willing to wait a year or more to see the achievements of the work of the future head of state.
Some 28% of respondents are convinced that this election rather united the country. At the same time, 24% believe that the split has intensified. A third of respondents say this presidential election neither split nor united Ukraine. Most of those who see consolidating processes are among Zelensky supporters (38%). Every fifth respondent sees the possibility of a split. But among Poroshenko supporters, one in three predicts division, compared to 17% who predict the country will unite.
Some 76% of respondents say this is normal when their family members, relatives or acquaintances support a different candidate. Despite this, 9% consider this situation to be a mistake, while noting that they will not try to influence the choice. An equal number say they will try to convince their loved ones to change their minds, mostly among Poroshenko’s supporters – 22%.
Sociological Group Rating conducted a survey of electoral attitudes of Ukrainians from April 12 to April 16, 2019 among Ukrainians who are 18 and older. The sample is representative by age, gender, region, and type of settlement. Some 3,000 persons took part via personal formal interview (face-to-face). The margin of error of the survey does not exceed 1.8%.
The income of the population of Ukraine in 2018 amounted to UAH 3.22 trillion, expenses to UAH 3.202 trillion, while the savings of Ukrainians rose by UAH 16.8 billion, the State Statistics Service has reported.
According to its data, disposable income, which can be used to purchase goods and pay for services, over this period grew by 21.9%.
Disposable income per capita in the third quarter amounted to UAH 57,909, which is 22.5% more than in 2018.
Most people in Russia and Ukraine believe their countries should be independent but have open borders without visas or customs for each other’s citizens, the Levada Analytical Center and the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) said in their joint survey.
The opinion was expressed by 52% of Russians polled by Levada and 48% of Ukrainians polled by KIIS. A total of 25% of Russian respondents and 38% of Ukrainian respondents disagreed.
Seventeen percent of polled Russians and 4% of polled Ukrainians said they wanted Russia and Ukraine to be a single state.
The survey showed that people in both countries are well disposed towards each other. Eighty-two percent of polled Russians declared their warm feelings for Ukrainians, including 25% who said their attitude was very good. The percentage stood at 77% and 23%, respectively, in Ukraine.
Negative feelings were expressed by 13% of polled Russians and 14% of polled Ukrainians. At the same time, 85% of Russian respondents and 69% of Ukrainian respondents exhibited negative sentiments towards the leaders of each other’s countries, the pollsters said.
Levada polled 1,600 people older than 18 in 137 populated localities in 50 Russian constituent territories on February 15-20. KIIS polled 2,042 respondents in Ukraine on February 8-20.