The increase in utility tariffs could become the main driver for possible protests in Ukraine, according to the head of Razumkov Center sociological center Andriy Bychenko, who presented the results of the latest survey in Kyiv Friday.
"Of those Ukrainians who are ready to take part in rallies or protest actions, 65% will protest against the increase of utility tariffs, while another 31.2% are ready to protest against unsatisfactory living conditions in their locality - a shortage of kindergartens, schools, medical institutions, poor road construction and repair, etc. Some 28.6% are ready to defend their labor rights and their right to pensions. Another 26.1% will participate in anti-corruption rallies. Less than 20% of Ukrainians are eager to take to the streets to defend civil rights and freedoms and objective investigations, to stand against election fraud, illegal construction, layoffs as a result of the closure of enterprises, etc.," Bychenko said, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
The expert added that Ukrainians living in the south of the country (80%) and the east (73%) mentioned more often the increase in utility tariffs, while those living in the west (55%) were less inclined to note it.
"At the same time, in western Ukraine, people talked more often about protests against corruption in government bodies (38%), while in the center this figure was at 23%, in the south – at 27%, and in the east – at 16%," the sociologist said.
According to Bychenko, for respondents who are ready to participate in protest actions, the most acceptable forms would be taking part in campaigns (44%) and collecting/putting signatures under public appeals (40%). Participating in authorized meetings and demonstrations was the chosen form of protest for 35% or the polled, while only less than 10% of those ready to rally expressed readiness for violent forms of protest," added Bychenko.
The sociologist notes that all forms of protests are possible, but they are unlikely to develop into a protracted and large-scale action. "If the authorities do not resort to violence, all these protests will not grow to the scale of the third Maidan," he concluded.
The poll was conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation jointly with the Razumkov Center's sociological service in all regions of Ukraine, with the exception of Crimea and the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, on August 16-22.
A total of 2,019 respondents were interviewed, aged over 17 years. The theoretical sampling error does not exceed 2.3%.