Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ukraine Crisis: Most Crimeans, Easterners Don't Want to Rejoin Russia, Poll Finds

Some of the media coverage of the Ukraine crisis suggests that the country is divided between a pro-Russian east and south, where many -- even most -- hanker to rejoin Russia, and a nationalistic west.

That's not quite true, according to an opinion poll for the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. A majority of residents in every region of Ukraine do not want the country to join Russia, reports the survey of 2,303 Ukrainians conducted Feb. 8 to 18.

That includes Crimea, which Russia has invaded on the pretext of defending Russian citizens from the new Ukrainian government. There, most residents speak Russian as their native language; yet, just 41 percent support joining Russia.

(Note that in Ukraine's 1991 referendum on independence from Russia, every region also voted by a majority to leave Russia, including Crimea, where 54 percent voted in favour. Nationally, 90 percent supported independence.)

12.5% of Ukrainians Seek to Rejoin Russia

Elsewhere, support for joining Russia is lower -- 33 percent in the eastern city of Donetsk, 15 percent in Kharkiv (the largest city in the east), 5 percent in the capital Kyiv (in the centre of the country) and 0 percent in the western city of Lviv.

Overall, 12.5 percent of Ukrainians want to join Russia. That's down from 20 percent in Oct. 2010.

Age plays an important role in the question, with 17 percent of those 55 and up wanting the two countries to be one again, while only 5 percent of those 18 to 29 agree.

No comments: