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Ukraine 2015: what Russians think of its future

The political situation in Ukraine is still unstable. The ongoing conflict in Eastern regions of the country and the protracted crisis in economy may lead to another destabilization of the political regime because of revived social protests in a future. Bashkirova and partners independent research agency in time of the national representative survey, has wondered by Russians on how they estimate the state of things in the neighbor land and what they think its future’s going to be. 


The war that has been going on over a year in the East of the country is considered to be the most impactful driver, determining political processes developing within Ukraine. Around a half of Russians (47%) believe those are the EU and the USA which carry the responsibility for the military conflict in the Eastern Ukraine.  In exceed of a quarter of the interviewed (28%) are blaming the government in Kiev. The absolute minority 5% and 3% accuse of the conflict escalation the leaders of the breakaway regions and Russia. Additional 13% are convinced that all conflicting parties are equally responsible and no single special crisis author can be distinguished. 

It’s remarkable that respondents who are above 50 y.o., are prone more frequently (by 5% more often) to put blame on the West, and the young (under 30) – on DPR and LPR (by 3%) and the Russian Federation (5% vs. 1% in respondents above 50 of age). Respondents of all age groups feel unanimous in blaming the Ukrainian government.

Russians holding higher education diplomas more often point to the breakaway regions leaders as responsible for the conflict (by 4% more often), while our people with secondary education say the USA and the EU are guilty. The given trend can be directly linked to respondents’ age, because we can see much more greater number of university graduates among the young than in elderly category (the number of university students in the former USSR per 10 000 people had been as thrice as smaller if compared to a Russia of time of 2000-s).

In any forecasts undertaken for Ukraine further development one should consider different options of the military conflict resolution and the country post-war management. A third of Russians (33%) is of opinion, DPR and LPR must become independent. About a quarter believe the self-styled republics should make parts of the Russian Federation. Another third of our fellow citizens (33%) prefer the territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions to remain within Ukraine. Two thirds of these (22% of total respondents) insist on the country federalization where the DPR and LPR republics would be given greater autonomy (which is, as a matter of principle, meets the provisions of the Minsk deal signed by the conflicting parties, as well as partially those of the legislative acts on decentralization and the local governance special procedures in individual territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions).

 11% of respondents believe that neither Ukraine current borders nor its internal arrangement should undergo any changes. This point of view is more common in respondents under 30 y.o. (by 10% greater than in the elderly), with high income level (by 5% greater than in low income category), and, which is curious enough, in residents of rural areas and small towns (by 10% compared to figures for those residing in megacities).

Our respondents’ views on the political situation development in future Ukraine have split. Every fifth of the interviewed believes that Ukrainians are going to see resign of the President P.Poroshenko. 16% are predicting resign of the Ukrainian government, while 14% expect the country further dissolution. The same percentage of respondents is sure of the coming military takeover. Just 6% of respondents are of opinion there will be no struggle sharpening inside the Ukrainian political elite this year.


This study was conducted in June 2015 based on all-Russia random route sample (18+) by means of face-to-face interviews in place of residence. Altogether 1500 respondents in 8 federal districts, 150 settlements, 200 sample points have been surveyed. The sample error makes ± 2,5% by C.I. of 95%.  


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