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MOSCOW, August 30. /TASS/. More than one-third of Russians say Moscow should maintain neutrality on the status of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, according to a survey conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center and published on Tuesday.
"The number of Russians who believe that Russia should recognize the independence of the DPR and LPR dwindled from 29% to 23% over the past year and a half. On the other hand, the number of citizens who prefer maintaining neutrality on the status of the republics rose from 28% to 38%," the pollster reported.
Just 14% of Russians want the self-proclaimed republics to join the country, compared with 16% in January 2015.
Some 8% of respondents called for helping Donbass to get broader autonomy within Ukraine, while another 3% said Russia could assist Kiev in restoring control over the territory.
Nearly two-thirds of Russians (64%) still support Russia’s effort to provide Donbass with humanitarian assistance. Since August 2014, Moscow has been sending convoys with foodstuffs, medicines and bottled water to Donbass. Funding for these operations comes from the federal budget.
The poll was conducted on August 13-14 among 1,600 respondents in 46 Russian regions, with a margin of error not exceeding 3.5%.