Russians support recognition of S. Ossetia - poll

Seventy-one percent of Russians believe that the decision of Moscow to support South Ossetia in August 2008 was correct, and 15 percent disagree, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) told Interfax on Thursday.

Seventy-one percent of Russians believe that the decision of Moscow to support South Ossetia in August 2008 was correct, and 15 percent disagree, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) told Interfax on Thursday.

The number of the supporters was larger and the number of the opponents was smaller three years ago, 76 percent vs. 8 percent, the sociologists said.

Most of the respondents critical of the decision to support South Ossetia in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict are Liberal Democratic Party voters (27 percent), and the opposite opinion is maintained by the supporters of A Just Russia (82 percent), VTsIOM said, presenting a poll held in 130 towns and cities in 42 regions shortly before the fifth anniversary of the conflict.

The approval of the Russian recognition of the South Ossetian sovereignty (75 percent of the 1,600 respondents) was primarily expressed by United Russia voters (79 percent), Muscovites and St. Petersburg residents (80 percent) and residents of large cities (81 percent) and medium-sized cities (78 percent). Fourteen percent disapproved of that decision (8 percent in 2010), mostly Liberal Democratic Party voters (25 percent) and people in small towns and villages (16-17 percent).

Although the majority of Russians think that Moscow should continue helping South Ossetia, the percentage of respondents who think this is not necessary has grown from 6 percent in 2009 to 23 percent this year.

The others propose the giving of humanitarian aid (29 percent), assistance in the reconstruction of facilities destroyed in that conflict and in the recognition of South Ossetian sovereignty by third states (20 percent each), the rendering of military assistance (16 percent), the provision of material and financial support (13 percent) and help strengthening the republican authorities (13 percent).

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