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Kiev's policy "pushing Crimea in Moscow's arms" - analysts

March 11, 2014, 18:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to recent polls, 97% of Crimeans and residents of Sevastopol have a negative opinion of the current Ukrainian situation
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A poster reading: 'Stop Fascism' calls people to vote in the upcoming referendum, in the Crimea

A poster reading: 'Stop Fascism' calls people to vote in the upcoming referendum, in the Crimea

© EPA/ZURAB KURTSIKIDZE

MOSCOW, March 11. /ITAR-TASS/. New Ukrainian authorities' policy, carried out jointly with Western countries, is disposing Crimean population to union with Russia, according to the latest opinion polls, Russian political analysts said in interviews with Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the Crimean Republican Institute of Political and Sociological Studies published the results of an opinion poll, according to which 77% of Crimeans and residents of Sevastopol plan to vote for joining Russia. Ninety-seven percent of respondents have a negative opinion of the current Ukrainian situation, with 84% saying the country is in crisis. According to the poll, 83% of respondents do not support the change of government in Kiev.

Director of the Center for Political Analysis Pavel Danilin, who is presently staying in Simferopol, told Itar-Tass that "the standard of living is plunging across Ukraine amid the downfall of the national currency - the hrivnia - and inflation."

Crimean residents see new increases of prices of staple foods within two or three days. "Of course, this cannot but put one's on his guard, together with the fact that the propaganda wave from Kiev is setting people more and more against the new Ukrainian authorities," he said.

"Social and ideological factors are not playing in Kiev's favor: they are just pushing Crimea in Moscow's arms," the political analyst added.

"What is happening in Simferopol streets is confirmed by opinion poll results. Indeed, there is general dislike of Kiev authorities’ actions, the dislike that measures more than 90% on the scale," the expert said. "Many support actions by Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and many would like to see Crimea as part of Russia."

Indeed, this is the general opinion. Unsurprisingly, 77% of respondents said they would like Crimea to join Russia, he noted.

For his part, Director General of the Political Information Center Alexei Mukhin said the opinion poll results were the logical consequence of the policy pursued by Kiev and western countries. "Kiev has been quite aggressive in its disagreement - which it is stating in advance - with the opinion to be expressed by Crimean residents on March 16," Mukhin said.

These actions are pushing Crimea to join Russia. "Such results [of the poll] are a consequence of direct pressure on Crimeans. There is nothing surprising in it," he went on.

"If Kiev had tried to build more balanced relations with Crimea, if the West had not begun talking about Russia's aggression, I believe it would have been hard to achieve such results for those who support Crimea's breakaway from Ukraine."

Much of responsibility for these results is borne by the West and new Ukrainian authorities, the political analyst said.

"People in Crimea are quite adequate. They experienced the consequences of destruction of the national economy which became possible due to the Maidan’s actions and de-legitimization of Ukrainian authorities. And now these authorities are having serious problems attracting funds because these authorities are not legitimate," Mukhin said.

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