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One third of Russians call events in Ukraine state coup, civil war, anarchy — poll

February 28, 2014, 12:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A poll shows 29% of Russians call the situation in Ukraine "anarchy, unlawfulness", 27% think it's a civil war, 25% believe a state coup was committed
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Ukrainian protesters in Kiev

Ukrainian protesters in Kiev

© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

MOSCOW, February 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Russians use such words as “an anarchy, a state coup and unlawfulness” to define the events in Ukraine, according to an opinion poll made public by the All-Russian Centre for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsiOM) on Friday.

The opinion poll was conducted on February 22-23 and involved 1,600 people. Statistical discrepancy does not exceed 3.4 percent.

The opinion poll shows that about two thirds of Russians (74%) follow the events in Ukraine. Residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg (84%) and people aged of 60 years and over (83%) closely follow the situation in Ukraine.

One fourth of respondents (25%) believe that a state coup was committed in Ukraine and power had been seized by force, 29% of respondents called the situation “anarchy, unlawfulness and banditry”, 27% say a civil war was unleashed in Ukraine.

However, half of Russian respondents say they “do not sympathise with any party involved in the political conflict”, 33% back Ukraine’s power led by ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and only 8% support the opposition.

31% of respondents believe that Yanukovych “has to resign and to set early elections. 31% say he “has to suppress protest actions with the help of law enforcers”. 26% say the authorities had to start talks with the opposition and create a coalition government. However, since the previous opinion poll of February 1-2, number of respondents giving a similar response, has reduced considerably.

Most Russian respondents (88%) do not condemn the actions taken by Berkut special task force units: 56% of respondents say they carried out their duty and 32% of respondents say they saved the country from violence and chaos.

On further protest movement in Ukraine, 40% of respondents believe that it “turned into a chaos, which can lead to the country’s collapse”.

A total of 22% of respondents hope that protest actions will be continued. A total of 17% of respondents believe that mass actions and protest moods will recede. 21% of respondents were undecided.

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