Few in Ukraine — including in the East — support separatism or joining Russia, poll shows

Paul Goble writes: Vladimir Putin insists that his moves in Ukraine are motivated by a desire to protect ethnic Russians, Russian speakers and, Moscow’s latest category, “pro-Russian people” who do not want to live under Kyiv, a view that has been uncritically accepted by large numbers of Russians in the Russian Federation and by many in the West.

But a new poll shows that few of the people on whose behalf Putin claims to be acting are interested in separatism from Ukraine or in having their regions become part of the Russian Federation. Instead, even in the eastern portions of Ukraine where Russian speakers form a large share of the population, overwhelming majorities want to remain in Ukraine.

According to the results of a poll by the Democratic Initiative of Ukraine released today and discussed by Andrey Illarionov in an Ekho Moskvy blog post, 89 percent of the residents of Ukraine consider that country their Motherland. [Continue reading…]

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