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  • Ukraine: Willingness for Freedom Is More Substantial than Darkness

    19.12.2022

    By Executive Director at the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting (IER) Oksana Kuziakiv for 4Libertuy.ua.

    Millions of people and thousands of businesses in Ukraine remain without electricity every day due to damage to infrastructure damage caused by Russian shelling. For two months in a row (starting from October 10, 2022), the Russian Federation has been launching rocket attacks on the civilian infrastructure of Ukraine every week.

    The target of this damage was the network of substations and transformers that provide electricity transmission from generating plants to end consumers. The Russian aggressor fired more than 1,000 missiles and rockets at energy facilities in Ukraine, causing extensive damage to the energy system, but the energy system retains its integrity[1].

    Every day in various regions of the country, consumers are cut off from electricity to stabilize the national energy system. Of course, power outages cannot fail to affect people’s daily lives and businesses. According to the reports of anonymous Russian telegram channels, the Kremlin was hoping for civil protests and pressure on the Ukrainian government from the population and business due to the deterioration of living and business conditions. Did they achieve their goal? The answer is unequivocal no.

    According to the results of the #NRES monthly survey of enterprises conducted by the Institute of Economic Research and Policy Consulting (IER), the share of respondents who reported power outages as an impediment to doing business increased almost 13 times in October 2022 compared to September 2022 (from 4% to 51%), reaching its maximum in November.

    At that time, 74% of the interviewed managers of enterprises pointed to interruptions in energy supply as a problem for conducting business. In November 2022, for the first time in the entire 25-year history of conducting this business survey, the issue of energy supply ranked first among the list of impediments to doing business.

    Source: #NRES, IER, 2022
    Source: #NRES, IER, 2022

    But businesses and citizens also maintain optimism and unity and are determined to fight for victory. This is evidenced by the results of public opinion and business surveys conducted in October and November 2022.

    According to the Info Sapiens research company study “Consumer Attitudes in Ukraine” in November 2022, the Index of Consumer Attitudes of Ukrainians increased by 1.6 points and is 85.2 points out of 200 points. As stated by the researchers, the indices of the current personal financial situation and expected changes in the personal material situation[2]. Moreover, according to the results of a survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, conducted at the end of October, 86% of citizens believe that the armed struggle should be continued, even if the shelling continues[3].

    New results from the #NRES monthly business survey suggest cautious business optimism. While in November, compared to October, fewer entrepreneurs planned to increase production in the following 3-4 places (the share of such responses decreased from 29% in October to 17% in November).

    At the same time, the percentage of enterprises planning to reduce production remained practically unchanged (12.4% in October and 13.4% in November). Instead, most respondents (68.1%) plan to leave production volumes in the following places unchanged despite the problem with access to electricity. In the long term, the business also remains quite optimistic, although the difficulties of October and November affected long-term plans.

    Thus, in November, the share of respondents who plan to expand their business in the next two years was 31.6%, slightly less than in October (37.5%). Nevertheless, the share of respondents who planned the volume of activity in two years increased from 6.3% in October to 11.6% in November. But again, most respondents plan to remain active for two years at the current level. There were more such enterprises in November compared to October (56.7% and 54.6%, respectively).

    Both examples show that the optimists did not become pessimists, which is a very positive fact against the background of the large-scale problems caused by the Russian shelling of Ukrainian energy facilities. The fact that, together with the above survey results, gives us hope for victory and once again shows the global stability of Ukrainian society, people and business. The aggressor hoped that the darkness would absorb the souls of Ukrainians and force them to go out to protest. Still, instead, society became united, and optimism and certainty in victory is our answer to the missile terror.


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