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1 March 2022

How President Zelensky’s approval ratings have surged

More than 90 per cent of Ukrainians approve of their leader, compared with just 31 per cent before the Russian invasion.

By Afiq Fitri

More than 90 per cent of Ukrainians have thrown their support behind their president, Volodymyr Zelensky, as the country continues to resist Russia’s invasion, according to a new national poll conducted by the Ratings Sociological Group. The latest polling shows that Zelensky’s approval ratings have almost tripled since December 2021, when just 31 per cent of Ukrainians supported him.

Prior to the invasion of Ukraine, there were doubts over whether the 44-year-old had the political nous to lead the country during an existential crisis. That changed in the early hours of 24 February, before the invasion began, when the former comedian transformed himself into a resolute wartime leader by telling Russia that “when you attack us you will see our faces, not our backs, but our faces”.

Since then, Zelensky has regularly taken to Twitter to address Ukrainians and the rest of the world, reminding everyone of what is at stake through videos and fiery tweets. Two days after the invasion began, he personally thanked the thousands of Russian anti-war protesters who defied their authorities and took to the streets. “Your conscience has been heard, and it’s been heard loudly,” he said.

When the US reportedly offered to evacuate him as the Russian military advanced through Ukraine, Zelensky refused to leave Kyiv and declared: “I need ammunition, not a ride.”

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