Russians don't want Donetsk, Luhansk to be part of Russia — poll

Almost one third of Russians want Moscow to stay neutral, without taking sides with Kiev or the self-proclaimed republics.

Russians believe that support for the people of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics must go on, but a tiny 18% suggest admitting them to the Russian Federation, as follows from an opinion poll by the national pollster VTsIOM, published on its website.

"The possibility that among the Donbas militias there may be more Russian volunteers than Ukrainians is mentioned these days more often than a year ago: whereas in July 2014 only 5% said so, in September 2015 the group of those who thought so was up to 15%. Yet a majority of the polled (66%) are certain that most of the militiamen in the Donetsk and Luhansk republics are residents of the two regions and also of other regions of Ukraine (in contrast to 88% in July 2014), the poll said.

One in three Russians (31%) advises the authorities to stay neutral, without taking sides with Kiev or Donetsk and Luhansk. One in four (26%) is certain the territories’ independence must be recognized. A large majority of the polled are certain that peace talks and a freeze of the conflict would benefit Russia, even though they may be achieved at the cost of concessions and financial losses, while 10% of the polled believe the "war to the bitter end is acceptable."

The VTsOIM poll was conducted on September 5-6, 2015. The sociologists polled an audience of 1,600 men and women of age in 46 territories of Russia. The statistical error margin did not exceed 3.5%.

First published by TASS.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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