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MOSCOW, July 21. /TASS/. Most Russians believe Moscow should not drop support for Donbass for the sake of mending relations with Ukraine and the West, suggests a survey carried out by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center.
"Prospects to improve relations between Russia, Ukraine and the West have failed to sway Russians’ stance on the issue of aid to Donbass residents, more than half of them (61%) being confident that support must continue," the public opinion researcher said. "A total of 81% of Russians support the dispatch of humanitarian convoys from Russia to Donbass," the report added.
Sociologists point out that the position of Russian nationals has remained unchanged in the past half-year amid the armed conflict between the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and Kiev. Nine percent of Russian nationals polled say the republics must be helped in getting broader autonomy, 25% say their independence must be recognized, while 17% believe they should unite with the Russian Federation. Another 35% of Russians surveyed took a neutral position.
"Russians still show interest in the conflict in Ukraine’s southeast, but the attitude towards possible scenarios for Russia’s actions in it has changed, though slightly, over the past three years. The in effect stalemate situation has frozen the issue in the minds of (Russian) citizens," the pollster said in a report.
"Both Kiev and the people’s republics are trying to someway escalate the narrative in search of possibilities to solve the conflict, but these attempts have practically no influence on Russian society, which is the priority audience whose sights both sides have set on," the head of the pollster’s research department, Stepan Lvov, commented.
The survey was conducted on July 5-7, 2017, with 1,800 people interviewed over the phone. The margin of error does not exceed 2.5%.