Russians not afraid of the consequences of Crimea

According to independent opinion polls in Russia this April, Russians generally support the reunification of Russia and Crimea.

According to surveys conducted by the All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM), 96 percent of respondents believed that Crimea's accession to the Russian Federation was justified.

In big-sized cities (with populations over 1 million), 98 percent agreed with this statement, while in rural areas, the figure was 95 percent.

VTsIOM polls also found that 76 percent of respondents in small towns think the move will be positive for Russia, with only 6 percent of respondents believing that it would lead to negative consequences.

However, support levels for the reunification did vary in different regions: 78 percent residents of small towns supported it, while in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the figure was less: 69 percent.

Since the action, confidence in the Russian government has also increased.

According to VTsIOM, the government approval index - that is, the percentage of people who approve of the work the government is doing - rose to 73 percent, which is the highest it has been since May 2008, when it was 74 percent.

In comparison, the government approval index was 65 percent in February 2014, 56 percent in January 2014 and last year, 60 percent in December, and only 53 percent in November.

The response to Crimea becoming part of Russia among Russians contrasts sharply to the overwhelmingly negative response to the decision by citizens of Western countries.

Russians are not immune to  the international criticism, however.

And according to VTsIOM, 71 percent of respondents know that a UN resolution declared the referendum in Crimea to be illegal.

VTsIOM reported that around one-fifth of Russians think that other countries do not want to officially recognize Crimea as a part of Russia because they fear that Russia will become too powerful.

Respondents have given other reasons why they think other countries do not want to accept the reunification.

Some (13 percent) believe that the US has put pressure on other countries; another 13 percent think that the US wants it for itself; 7 percent think that other countries want to harm Russia, while 5 percent think it is because Crimea is strategically important.

Despite awareness about this international disapproval, the majority of respondents do not think the reunification will have serious consequences for Russia. Fifty-nine percent of respondents are sure about this, while 25% of respondents think that there might be negative consequences.

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