Two thirds of Russians blame Ukrainian army, special services for Boeing crash - poll

Very few Russian citizens have not heard about the Malaysian Boeing crash in southeastern Ukraine and two thirds are certain that the Ukrainian military is to blame for the tragedy, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) told Interfax on Friday.

Very few Russian citizens have not heard about the Malaysian Boeing crash in southeastern Ukraine and two thirds are certain that the Ukrainian military is to blame for the tragedy, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) told Interfax on Friday.

A total of 94 percent have heard about the plane crash, which occurred above Donetsk on July 17 and 99 percent in Moscow and St. Petersburg are aware of it, sociologists said.

It emerged after the survey held on July 26-27 in 130 cities, towns and villages in 42 Russian regions among 1,600 respondents that only 5 percent heard about the tragedy for the first time.

As to the reasons behind the plane crash, 61 percent think a rocket stuck the plane, 14 percent consider it to be a terrorist attack, 6 percent said accident, 3 percent to issues with the aircraft, 2 percent to a mistake by the crew, 1 percent to bad weather, and 12 percent failed to respond, sociologists said.

When asked about the consequences of the crash, 38 percent respondents failed to respond, the other 38 percent think nothing will change for Russia, 8 percent forecast conflict escalation with the West, 7 percent sanctions, 3 percent war, and 1 percent of respondents believe relations with Europe will improve if Russia\'s non-involvement in the crash is proved, sociologists said.

As to Russia's stance in light of the plane crash, 29 percent of Russian citizens said that Russia should not interfere. This stance is less popular in Moscow and St. Petersburg (24 percent) and cities of populations of a million (22 percent). Meanwhile, 32 percent are certain Russia should support the Donbas militia. Twenty eight per cent said they welcomed a mediating role for Moscow and only 1 percent said it was necessary to support Kyiv, the poll showed.

The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17 in Donbas near the village of Hrabovo, the territory controlled by militia of southeastern Ukraine. The aircraft had 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board - they all died.

Passengers were citizens of ten countries - the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Philippines, Canada and New Zealand. The main version of the crash is a missile strike, experts say.

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