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Russians hail Putin’s efforts to broker Ukraine ceasefire — poll

February 27, 2015, 19:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Some 55% of respondents believe that the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine has become possible mainly due to Putin’s involvement in the peace talks in Belarus two weeks ago

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Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

© Gennady Zhinkov/BelTA/TASS

MOSCOW, February 27. /TASS/. More than half of Russians hail President Vladimir Putin’s latest efforts to broker a peace deal for Ukraine at talks in Minsk, a public opinion poll indicates.

Pollsters from VTSIOM Public Opinion Studies Foundation say some 55% of respondents believe that the ceasefire between government troops and people’s militia in eastern Ukraine has become possible mainly due to Putin’s involvement in the peace talks in Belarus two weeks ago.

Every fourth respondent, or 24%, notes the contribution of all participants in the meeting towards achieving a breakthrough, says the survey, conducted on February 21-22. About seven percent of those asked acknowledge the key role of the Western leaders, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. And only one percent says Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko deserves the credit.

Some two percent of respondents add that the leaders of eastern Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics have made a decisive contribution towards reaching the Minsk agreement as well.

Questioners also found that some 61% of the 1,600 people interviewed in 46 Russian regions do not believe that fighting in Ukraine will end as a result of the deal. It is remarkable that after the previous meeting in Minsk last September, about 61% stated the same.

In contrast, about 25% of Russians are confident that the truce will hold, says the survey.

On February 12, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany held a marathon negotiating session in Minsk seeking to reach political settlement on the future of eastern Ukraine.

The deal, announced after more than 16 hours of overnight discussions between Vladimir Putin, Petro Poroshenko, Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel, included a ceasefire starting on February 15, followed by withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line.

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