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Russians losing interest in Ukrainian affairs — poll

August 25, 21:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The number of Russians who regularly follow the situation in Ukraine has dropped to 67% this year compared to 2014-2015 when the figure was considerably higher
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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, August 25 /TASS/. Russians are gradually losing interest in Ukrainian affairs with every third respondent (32%) describing the events in Ukraine as anarchy and brigandage, a public opinion poll suggests.

"The number of Russians who regularly follow the situation in Ukraine has dropped to 67% this year compared to 2014-2015 when the figure was considerably higher," the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTSIOM), which had conducted the survey, wrote on its website on Thursday.

The survey revealed that 80% of the Russians followed the situation in Ukraine in August 2014. Their number rose to 83% early in 2015. Nineteen percent and 16% of the respondents did not watch the developments in Ukraine in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Every fifth Russian (20%) identifies the Ukraine crisis as a civil war compared to 50% who thought that way in January 2015. The number of those who think that Ukraine has sunk in "anarchy, lawlessness and brigandage" has increased to 32% this year from 17% early in 2015 and 16% in August 2014, respectively. Forty percent of respondents said the situation in Ukraine was not changing with time (compared to 25% early in 2015 and 23% in August 2014).

The survey revealed that the index of bilateral relations between Russia and Ukraine had dropped to historical minimum. Every third Russian (or 34%) said the Ukraine-Russia relations were tense while another 26% called them openly hostile.

Almost half of respondents (45%) believe that Russia should build its relations with Kiev the same way it does with other countries and should not be excessively friendly straight from start compared to 54% who thought that way in 2005. The number of those who think that Russian government should seek friendly relations with Ukraine has dropped from 19% in 2015 to 12% in 2016. Another 29% of Russians believe that Russia should help Russia-friendly political forces to rise to power in Ukraine compared to 16% in 2005.

The survey was carried out in 130 populated localities in 46 regions, territories and republics in 9 federal districts of Russia with 1,600 participant on August 13-14, 2016.

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