Press-releases, Publications

Ukraine and Donbas

Against the background of aggravation of the foreign policy conflict around Donbas, the attitude of Russians to Ukraine has deteriorated. While in February 55% of Russians had a positive attitude towards Ukraine and 31% – a negative one, in March these figures were 50% and 35% respectively.

At the same time, the changes are most noticeable in the older groups of respondents. If in February 2021 almost half (49%) of respondents aged 55 and older had a good attitude towards Ukraine and 43% – a bad attitude, then at the end of March 2021 these numbers were 42% and 43% respectively. In the group of 40-54 years old in February 54% had a good attitude and 31% – bad attitude, in March – 47% and 39% respectively.

The attitude of young people to Ukraine has not changed: in February 66% had a positive attitude, 16% – negative, in March – 68% and 19% respectively – changes within the statistical error.

How do you feel about Ukraine right now?

28% of Russians believe that the DPR and LPR should become independent states, another quarter (25%) is in favor of the republics becoming part of Russia. 16% of respondents are supporters of expanded autonomy within Ukraine, 10% – of returning to Ukraine on general terms.

The point of view about the need for independence of the republics remains the most dominant, but it is slightly losing popularity: in May 2014 this position was held by 36% of respondents. The uncertainty of Russians in this question is growing: in May 2019 only 15% found it difficult to answer the question, in March 2021 – already 21%.

Which of the following opinions regarding the independence of the DPR and LPR would you rather agree with?

32% of Russians believe that the conflict in Donbas will drag on for many years, another 19% believe that the republics will become part of Russia. 12% believe that the republics will gain independence. In 2015 this version was the most popular – then it was shared by 38% of respondents.

How do you think the conflict in the southeast of Ukraine will most likely end?

* Until 2021 the question was asked in the following wording:

What do you think about the political future of southeastern Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk regions)? Which of the following options would you prefer?

The answer options were as follows:

  • For Southeast Ukraine to become an independent state
  • For Southeast Ukraine to become a part of the Russian Federation
  • For Southeast Ukraine to remain part of Ukraine, but to receive more independence from Kyiv
  • For southeast Ukraine to remain a part of Ukraine under the same conditions as it was before the crisis
  • Difficult to answer

The ANO Levada Center has been included in the registry of non-commercial organizations acting as foreign agents. Read the Director of the Levada Center’s statement of disagreement with this decision here.


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