Monday, March 3, 2014, 11:53 a.m.
One month prior to the Russian invasion of Crimea, the Russians believed that their country should not interfere in the internal political conflict in Ukraine. On February 24, the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (WCIOM) released to public the results of relevant studies carried out on February 1 and 2.
Seventy-three percent of Russians polled believed that Russia should not interfere in the conflict between the government and the opposition in Ukraine, as this is an internal affair of the people of that country.
Those most likely to subscribe to this point of view were followers of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) (82%), public sector employees (79%), state officials (77%), students (77%), and residents of mid-sized cities (78%).
Only 15% of respondents believed that the Russian authorities could support Ukrainian colleagues in suppressing the “illegal attempts to seize power.”
This opinion was most common among the followers of Spravedlivaya Rossiya [A Just Russia] (30 %) and employees of the commercial sector (20%).
The Russians were against the intervention in the affairs of Ukraine prior to the Russian invasion of Crimea.
Three-quarters of Russian citizens (75%) were sure that similar mass protests are not possible in Russia. Residents of cities with populations of over one million and rural inhabitants (79% each) did not believe that such developments are possible. Only Moscow and St. Petersburg residents were not quite sure about this (64%).
Only 15% entertained the likelihood that a similar situation could develop in Russia, and then only under certain circumstances: if the people are reduced to extreme poverty, or in case of a severe prolonged economic crisis ( 30% and 25% respectively of those who believed that similar mass protests are possible in Russia).
In addition, the overwhelming majority of Russians (94%) did not wish for a repetition of Ukrainian events in their country.
Three quarters of the citizens of the Russian Federation were sure that Maidan is not possible in Russia.
The WCIOM All-Russian Survey was carried out on February 1 and 2. Sixteen hundred people were surveyed in 130 settlements in 42 regions, territories, and republics of Russia. The margin of error does not exceed 3.4%.
As has been previously reported, on February 22 in Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, who is responsible for the February 18-20 mass murders of the people who protested against him, was dismissed from the office of president.
In late February, Russia began building up its military presence in Crimea. Armed men have invaded the airports of Sevastopol and Simferopol. The Kerch ferry has been blocked.
On March 1, the Council of the Russian Federation supported the appeal of President Vladimir Putin, and gave its consent to sending the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to the territory of Crimea.
The formal grounds for Putin’s appeal were Yanukovych’s cry for help and non-recognition of the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian government by the Russian leadership.
Survey: Even in Crimea, only 41% of population is ready to vote for joining Russia.
The results of a recent survey carried out by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) from February 8 to February 18 (prior to the fall of Yanukovych) show that for all macro-regions of Ukraine, the number of those who support joining Russia is less than 26%.
This was reported by Volodymyr Paniotto, KIIS General Director.
Specifically, the number who support joining is 0.7% in the West of Ukraine, 5.4% in the center, 19.4% in the South, and 26% in the East.
Regional data have a high margin of error. However, for Crimea, Kharkiv, Donetsk, and almost all other regions, the number of those favoring independence exceeds the number of those supporting joining Russia, which is statistically significant.
- The Autonomous Republic of Crimea: 41%
- Donetsk Region: 33.2%
- Luhansk Region: 24.1%
- Odesa Region: 24%
- Zaporizhzhya Region: 16.7%
- Kharkiv Region: 15.1%
- Chernihiv Region: 14.8%
- Dnipropetrovsk Region: 13.8%
- Kirovohrad Region: 8.3%
- Kyiv Region: 6.4%
- Chernivtsi: 5.4%
- Kyiv: 5.3%
- Zhytomyr Region: 5.2%
- Poltava Region: 4.3%
- Kherson Region: 4.2%
- Mykolayiv Region: 3.7%
- Vinnytsia Region: 2.7%
- Zakarpattia Region: 2%
- Sumy Region: 1.8%
- Cherkasy Region: 1.7%
- Khmelnytskyi Region: 0%
- Ternopil Region: 0%
- Rivne Region: 0%
- Lviv Region: 0%
- Volyn Region: 0%
- Ivano- Frankivsk Region: 0%
Translated by Katherina Smirnova, edited by Robin Rohrback