Russians say problem of national separatism not relevant in Russia - poll

The number of Russian citizens who believe that national separatism (regions' aspiration for autonomy or independence) is a key problem in Russia declined by 16 percent from 50 percent in 2013 to 34 percent at the end of 2014, the Levada Center told Interfax.

The number of Russian citizens who believe that national separatism (regions' aspiration for autonomy or independence) is a key problem in Russia declined by 16 percent from 50 percent in 2013 to 34 percent at the end of 2014, the Levada Center told Interfax.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents to the latest survey described the problem of national separatism as insignificant (24 percent in 2013), another 16 percent of those polled believe that this problem does not exist at all (9 percent in 2013), and 13 percent were unable to answer the question.

The poll was conducted across Russia on November 21-24 and involved 1,600 people.

Ninety percent of respondents said they did not want their region to secede from Russia, and a mere 8 percent took the opposite view.

Eighty-six percent of those polled were also opposed to the possible secession of other Russian regions and only 6 percent welcomed such an idea.

When asked by Levada Center sociologists to assess the current situation in the North Caucasus, 49 percent of respondents described it as favorable and quiet (41 percent in September and 18 percent in January 2014), 37 percent as tense (40 percent and 60 percent), and 13 percent of those polled were unable to answer this question.

Fifty-six percent of respondents believe that the situation in the North Caucasus has not changed, 25 percent of those polled said that this situation was "gradually settling down", 8 percent said that "tensions there were escalating further", and 12 percent were undecided.

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