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Most Russians back continuation of humanitarian aid to Donbass — poll

February 20, 15:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The poll shows that some 24% of citizens believe that Russia should recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics

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© Mikhail Sokolov/TASS

MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. Most Russians believe that Moscow should not stop providing assistance to Donbass for the sake of improving relations with the West, a survey carried out by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center showed on Monday.

Some 59% of respondents say that the prospect of improving ties with Ukraine and the West should not influence Moscow’s support for Donbass, which needs to continue in the future. The number of Russians who think so remains practically unchanged from 58% in November 2015.

The amount of Russians who believe Moscow needs to carry on sending humanitarian convoys to Donbass has significantly grown. Some 82% of respondents said so, compared with 64% in the summer of 2016.

The poll shows that some 24% of citizens believe that Russia should recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, compared with 13% in 2014. Another 18% admitted the possibility of Donbass’ reunification with Russia, while 8% said Russia should help broaden the autonomy of the self-proclaimed republics’ as part of Ukraine.

Only 4% of Russians called upon the authorities in Kiev to help restore control over Donbass, while another 36% are in favor of non-interference and maintaining neutrality.

"Russians’ opinion regarding potential policy towards the DPR and LPR is now firmly entrenched," said Mikhail Mamonov, the center’s lead researcher. "Stable figures show that this is a motivated position. Most Russians think that the DPR and LPR are already not part of Ukraine. This is the poll’s main conclusion."

The nation’s leading polling agency conducted the survey based on phone interviews with 1,200 respondents on February 5-6. The margin of error does not exceed 3.5%

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