Press release №1930
20.02.2017
WAR IN DONBASS: WHO IS TO BLAME AND WHAT TO DO?

IN BRIEF

  • 24% of respondents propose to recognize the independence of the DPR and LPR
  • 18% - to incorporate them into the Russian territory
  • 82% of Russians are confident that Russia should go on providing humanitarian assistance to the Donbass inhabitants

According to the Sputnik omnibus survey data, amidst aggravating situation in Donbass, Russian compassion towards its inhabitants has strengthened.

MOSCOW, February 20, 2017. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the results of a survey describing the Russian attitudes towards the conflict between Kyev and the DPR and LPR authorities. 

Amidst ongoing conflict between Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics and Kyev, half of Russians would rather support the LPR and DPR to a varying degree: 8% propose to extend the autonomy; 24% think it is important to recognize their independence; 18% to incorporate into Russia’s territory. Only 4% support the Kyev authorities; 36% stay neutral. Given that the Mint arrangements are being violated, Russia should seek diplomatic means to resolve the conflict.

Any prospects to improve the relations between Russia and Ukraine and the West still have no impact on Russian attitudes towards supporting the Donbass insurgents: today (59%) as well as a year and a half ago  (58%) more than half of Russians are confident that further assistance should be provided.   As Sputnik omnibus survey suggests, sending humanitarian help to Donbass is still supported by 82% of Russians (which is a considerable increase after a decline to 64% in the 2016 summer).

The Sputnik omnibus survey was conducted on February 5-6, 2017, using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia, and involved 1200 respondents. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 3.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

The household surveys were carried out in 2014-2016. 

In your opinion, what position should Russia take with regard to Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  IV.2014* VII.2014 X.2014 I.2015 IX.2015 VIII.2016 II.2017
To help Kyev authorities to get control over DPR and LPR 4 2 3 2 3 3 4
To help LPR and DPR extend their autonomy, allowing them to be part of Ukrainian territory 12 15 8 12 12 8 8
To recognize DPR and LPR as independent states 13 27 23 29 26 23 24
To incorporate DPR and LPR into Russia's territory 18 12 11 16 16 14 18
Not to intervene; to maintain neutrality 45 36 43 28 31 38 36
Don't know 8 8 12 13 12 14 10

*In April 2014 the question was “Certain Donbass residents declared a “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Kharkov Republic”. In your opinion, what position should Russia take with regard to that?   

Almost two years ago in Minsk, the representatives of the Kyev authorities and Donbass people’s republics came to the conclusion to cease fire, to withdraw heavy weapons, to exchange prisoners, et cet. Today many politicians and public figures say that this agreement is not observed. What should Russia do in this situation? (open-ended question, any number of answers, %)
  Total respondents
Do nothing (19%)
Do nothing 17
To await further developments 2
Use diplomatic means (16%)
To negotiate 10
To attract the attention of the international community, to cover the story worldwide 3
To attract other countries to solve the issue  2
To provide help as an observer, a mediator 1
Put pressure on Kyev (16%)
To achieve implementation of the Minsk agreements 8
To send peace-keeping troops to Ukraine  3
To punish the guilty 1
To intervene in the conflict 1
To impose sanctions on Ukraine 1
To take extreme measures, to put pressure on the Ukrainian government  1
To destroy Kyev authorities 1
Support Donbass (11%)
To provide support for Donbass (means not specified) 6
To provide material support including humanitarian assistance 2
To incorporate DPR and LPR into Russia’s territory 1
To recognize DPR and LPR independence  1
To provide technical assistance and weaponry to Donbass 1
Other
Do the same thing that was done before 1
Other 4
Don’t know 39 
In your opinion, should Russia stop providing support for the Donbass insurgents in order to improve relations with Ukraine and the West, or not? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  IX.2015 II.2017
Russia should stop providing support for the Donbass insurgents to improve relations with Ukraine and Western countries 11 12
Russia should not stop providing support for the Donbass insurgents to improve relations with Ukraine and Western countries 58 59
Russia should not seek to improve relations with Ukraine 15 15
Don't know 16 14 
Russia is sending humanitarian convoys with food, medicine, water to Donbass spending money from its budget. In your opinion, should Russia provide further humanitarian assistance to Donbass or not?   (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  IX.2014 I.2015 IX.2015 VIII.2016 II.2017
Russia should do that 78 75 73 64 82
Russia should not do that 15 15 19 27 14
Don't know 7 10 8 9 4

Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory!

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