Most Russian citizens (64 percent) think that the conflict in Ukraine has become "a result of West interference," Levada Center said citing the poll held on July 18-21 in 46 Russian regions among 1,600 respondents.
Twenty per cent respondents see the reason behind the Ukrainian conflict in "the nationalistic policy of the Ukrainian leadership" and other 7 percent Russians refer to "the protest of population in eastern part of the country against new authorities in Kiev," sociologists said.
At that, 82 percent respondents believe that armed resistance in southeastern Ukraine could escalate into a long-lasting civil war, 62 percent expect it to become Russian-Ukrainian war, and 52 percent suppose it could lead to world war III, the survey showed.
A total of 56 percent Russian citizens think that Russia supports actively pro-Russian forces in southeastern Ukraine and 55 percent believe Moscow should continue to do so, sociologists said.
Meanwhile, 21 percent and 22 percent respectively share the opposite stance and 23 percent failed to respond in each case.
As to the future of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, 41 percent respondents said they supported forming an independent state on their basis. At the same time, 23 percent Russian citizens want southeastern Ukraine to become part of Russia, other 17 percent suppose the region should remain part of Ukraine but get more independence from Kiev, and 7 percent think things should be as they were prior to the crisis in Ukraine, the poll showed.
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