Russians primarily blame Ukraine for provoking the Kerch incident, whereas an overwhelming majority of respondents approve of Russia’s behavior.
MOSCOW, December 5, 2018. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data on what Russians think about the Kerch state conflict.
Eighty-seven percent of Russians are aware of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in the Kerch strait.
An overwhelming majority of respondents (93%) consider that blockade of the passage of the Ukrainian ships through the strait was right.
Russians tend to think that the incident was a planned provocation by the Ukrainian government (79%), a Poroshenko’s attempt to retain power before the upcoming elections (30%). Every fifth (19%) says that the provocation was needed to trigger a war between Russia and Ukraine or it was another reason to accuse Russia of aggressive behavior (17%). However 7% believe that the Ukrainian government did not try to engineer a conflict.
Generally, respondents consider that Russia and Ukraine will eventually restore friendly and allied relations (43%) or at least will be able to normalize them (34%). Respondents think that the bilateral relations are hardly to deteriorate in the future (16%).
The VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on November 27, 2018. The survey involved 1,600 Russians aged 18 and over. The survey was telephone-based and was carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. 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 1.8%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.
|Do you hear that last Sunday a conflict between Ukrainian military vessels and Russian border guard happened in the Kerch strait? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)|
|I know, I heard about it||87|
|This is the first time I hear about that||13|
|In your opinion, did the Russian border guard act right or wrong blocking the passage of the Ukrainian ships? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of those who are aware of the incident)|
|% of those who are aware of the incident|
|Some people consider that the incident was a Ukrainian provocation. Others say that the Ukrainian authorities did not want a conflict with Russia. Which opinion do you agree with the most? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)|
|This was a Ukrainian provocation||79|
|Ukraine did not plan any conflict||7|
|If you think that it was a Ukrainian provocation, what was the reason behind that provocation? (open-ended question, up to 3 answers, % of those who consider that the incident was a provocation)|
|% of those who consider the incident a provocation|
|Because of elections in Ukraine / Poroshenko eager to retain power||30|
|Provocation in response to Russian actions / to start a war||19|
|Another accusation of Russian aggressive behavior||17|
|It was commissioned by other countries/ to get assistance from other countries||9|
|Deterioration of relations between Russia and other countries||5|
|Imposition of martial law in Ukraine||4|
|To draw attention / to show their power and sovereignty||3|
|They want Crimea back / seizure of territory||3|
|To check the Russian army’s readiness||2|
|To distract people from internal problems||2|
|Ukraine’s political games||2|
|To harm Russia||2|
|Introduction of new sanctions against Russia||2|
|To blast the Crimean bridge||1|
|To create conflicts within Russia||1|
|To disrupt the Trump-Putin meeting||1|
|In your opinion, what is the future of Russia-Ukraine relations? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents|
|Friendly, allied relations will sooner or later be restored||43|
|Relations will be normalized but they will never be friendly or brotherly as before||34|
|Relations will keep deteriorating||16|