MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. Economic and transport blockade of east Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic will only drive a wedge between people in the war-torn east and the rest of Ukraine, suggests a recent opinion poll conducted in the region.
Alexander Protsenko, head of the "Special Status" Center for Sociological Research, told the Luhansk Information Center news agency on Monday: "In February and March, we asked the residents of the Luhansk People’s Republic the same question — ‘What do you think the economic and transport blockade of Donbas [region of east Ukraine] imposed by the authorities in Kiev might lead to?’"
"Respondents were unanimous. More than 93% of those polled said ‘this will only embitter people and alienate Donbas from Ukraine’," Protsenko said, noting that Kiev’s actions did not help to reduce tension or de-escalate the conflict.
"On the contrary, the blockade only drives a wedge between the residents of Ukraine and Donbas. One gets the impression that this is actually the main goal of imposing it, and not security concerns," he said.
Protsenko added that April 6 was a very important day for the Luhansk republic, marking one year since the population of Ukraine’s south-eastern regions opposing the February 2014 coup in Kiev took decisive action that resulted in the proclamation of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.
"A year ago today, the cup of people's patience overflowed. People needed to feel somehow protected," he said. "Then the takeover of the SBU [Ukraine's state security service] building happened marking a turning point in the protest movement in Ukraine’s south-east."