Even before the fall of the Yanukovych regime, which according to many observers created a significant pro Ukraine turn, not a single region in Ukraine showed a majority willing to unite with Russia.
Translated by Julia Heki Kou
Source: Ukrinform news agency, 03.03.2014
There is not a single region in Ukraine, where a majority of people would aspire to unite with Russia.
These data of the most recent sociological survey were quoted by Mrs. Irina Bekeshkina, sociologist and Director of the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives foundation, during a round table at Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform.
“Our survey is of extreme importance, because it shows that in Ukraine there is no region, no social group, where a majority of people would want a union with Russia. Although it is true that on a relative scale, the wish of unification with Russia is more popular in the East and the South”, Bekeshkina said.
Here she gave the example that even in Crimea, where the percentage of people wanting to unite with Russia has grown recently, it is still only 41%, that is less than half of the population. In Donetsk region, which is said by sociologist to be the second critical spot, there are only 33% of people wishing to unite with Russia.
Besides, Bekeshkina noted, there is a direct relation between the aspiration to unite with Russia and the age of respondents. “In these critical regions (Crimea and Donetsk), the aspiration to unite with Russia starts to prevail when the person gets close to their 55. That is, obviously it is the older generation. Maybe they are nostalgic about Soviet Union. Maybe they also want to get bigger pensions, like Russians get”, stated Irina.
Mrs. Bekeshkina also said that in total, only 12% of Ukrainians want to unite with Russia into one state. “In last years this number has decreased from 20 to 9 per cent, though after Maidan it has increased again by 3 per cent”, she summarized.
This nationwide survey in Ukraine was carried out by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives foundation and the Kiev International Institute of Sociology between February 8 and February 18, 2014 in all regions of Ukraine (including the city of Kiev), and in Crimea.