Ukrainians ready to endure hardship amid Russian strikes, DRI social media analysis suggests

BERLIN, Jan. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — An analysis of social media posts around the war in Ukraine conducted by Democracy Reporting International (DRI) suggests that Ukrainians feel ready to cope with prolonged heating and electricity shortages caused by ongoing Russian airstrikes.

By scanning 4,661 comments on Telegram posts sharing polls about electricity shortages —many of which show Ukrainians sharing candlelight dinners and campfire meals —DRI observed a generally optimistic attitude towards lacking basic services due to the Russian strikes.

While the social media analysis shows that Ukrainian users discussed the tensions between local authorities and the central government over sheltering the population and re-establishing services amid the Russian bombings, they have so far refrained from criticising Ukrainian authorities.

Ukrainians, instead, direct their anger at Putin. The findings indicate that one possible goal of Russia’s current bombing campaign –the consequence of the Ukrainian government refusing to negotiate, according to Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov– is failing.

Within a few days of Putin’s TV speech to announce a partial mobilisation of the Russian population in the war effort, anti-war Telegram channels showed a spike in users and activity, revealed another report from DRI’s social media monitoring. Much of the increased activity came from republics populated with non-Slavic minorities, where most soldiers killed in the war come from.

While analysing conversations around nuclear strikes on social media, DRI found that the conversation on the topic is much more negative on Twitter than on Telegram. There is no single reason for the negative posts on Twitter. However, DRI researchers found that some of the negative posts analysed came from a cluster of pro-Russian accounts spreading fear of nuclear strikes across the network’s users.

DRI has been monitoring social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Telegram, to provide an understanding of online public discourse in debates related to the war in Ukraine.

By combing through social media messages on specific topics and analysing influential accounts and channels, DRI undertook a quantitative and qualitative analysis to publish a series of reports. These cover how Ukrainians perceive allies, the Russian mobilisation effort, the nuclear threat and the Russian airstrikes, among other topics.

Read all the reports here.


For media inquiries, please contact Albert Guasch Rafael, Communications Coordinator, DRI,, + 49 157 53312130.


Democracy Reporting International (DRI) is an independent organisation dedicated to promoting democracy worldwide. We believe that people are active participants in public life, not subjects of their governments. Our work centres on analysis, reporting, and capacity-building. For this, we are guided by the democratic and human rights obligations enshrined in international law. Headquartered in Berlin, DRI has offices in Lebanon, Libya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Ukraine.

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