The Costs of Peace

The Russia-Ukraine War is currently an intractable stalemate. The deadly toll from the conflict — its rate of killing per day is higher than most wars in the last two hundred years — the bitterness of the war and the indivisibility of the territorial stakes raise an important question about whether a stable peace settlement is possible. This social science project examines this question by tracing the ways that wartime experiences shape ordinary Ukrainians’ attitudes toward different peace settlement scenarios. It focuses specifically on how people’s experiences and characteristics shape their dispositions toward the tragic tradeoffs of war.

This project is by professional academics. It was supported by a RAPID grant from the US National Science Foundation. The Principal Investigator is Dr Karina Korostelina, George Mason University, and the Co-PI is Dr Gerard Toal. Neither academic is affiliated with any US or foreign government agency. Neither represents any project or agenda to force any particular peace outcome in Ukraine. These sentences are emphasized because conspiracist thinking about Ukraine’s plight and any peace settlement is part of the discourse of the conflict.

The Costs of Peace survey of local residents and internally displaced persons living in three cities of Ukraine was carried out by Kiev International Institute of Sociology from June 3, 2022 till August 9, 2022. The survey fieldwork stage lasted from 3-25 July, 2022.

The stages of the survey included translation of the questionnaire and preparing of accompanying tooling, conducting pretest, selecting and training interviewers, conducting field stage, control of interviewers’ work, data proceeding and logical control. The data collection method was face-to-face personal interviews with tablets (CAPI). The sample developed for the study includes local residents and IDPs from three Ukrainian cities – Dnipro, Poltava and Zaporizhzhia.

The composition of the sample is as follows:

Type of SampleIDPsLocal Residents

To select local residents, electoral precincts were used as PSU. Probability Proportional to Size (PPS) sampling method was utilized in the random selection of electoral precincts. Random systematic selection of households and respondents was used at the final stage. The survey of local residents was carried out in 90 sampling point (electoral precinct).

To select IDPs, a time-location sample (TLS) and snowball technique were used. The survey of IDPs was carried out in 160 sampling point.  Of these, 14% were interviewed at 53 electoral precincts, where the survey of local residents takes place, and 84% were interviewed at 107 specialized locations and 2% respondents were interviewed using the «snowball selection» technique, when additional personal contacts were provided by the interviewed IDPs.

Pretest was held during June 21–24, 2022 to test the tooling. 1812 complete interviews were carried out during field stage. In this survey 100% of questionnaires and interviewer’s date books were revised by KIIS staff and 20% of interviews were controlled by recontact, including the control of the fact and quality of conducting of interview with certain respondent.

Coding was conducted by two qualified specialists at KIIS. Coding included checking the correctness of filling up the questionnaires. To check the data input 135 logical conditions were incorporated in CAPI form of questionnaire. The final data file consists of 1812 questionnaires. Response rate for local resident’s survey is 13%. Comparison of demographic data with external sources shows a fairly accurate match. In accordance with KIIS estimation the sampling error does not exceed 5.6% per sampling group in the context of cities and local residents/IDPs.

The research findings of the Costs of Peace project are now in the process of being prepared for dissemination and publication. This will consists of four main forms. First, a series of short publications will be submitted to major outlets to share results that are in the public interest.

Second, a series of presentations will be made on the data in various general public forums in the Washington DC region and beyond. For example, on Monday 19 September 2022 we will present findings from the project during the Carter School’s Peace Week. Click here to register for this virtual presentation.

Third, the findings will be prepared for presentation at forthcoming academic conferences.

Fourth, a series of academic papers based on the academic conference presentations will be prepared in the coming year.