One in every five residents of the South and the East supports autonomy of the occupied Donbas — survey
37% of residents of the unoccupied territories of the South and the East of Ukraine believe that Luhanska and Donetska oblasts should retain the relations with Kyiv in the same form as before the crisis. 18% support the idea of a significant or certain autonomy for these areas.
These are the results of the survey of residents of eight oblasts of the South and the East of Ukraine, which was conducted in the beginning of 2017 by the company GfK commissioned by the Institute of Mass Information with the support of the Ukraine Confidence Building Initiative (UCBI) and USAID.
Compared to the last year, the residents of the East and the South Ukraine show somewhat more support to the idea of Donbas retaining the same relations with Kyiv as they were before the crisis. The share of supporters of this view grew from 30% to 34%.
Alongside this, the share of supporters of the idea of Donbas being handed over to Russia is now lower than what it was last year, although even then it was insignificant (from 3% to 2%).
Residents of different regions seems to have varied opinions. The largest share of supporters of the preservation of the pre-war relations with Kyiv was observed in Mykolayivska (59%), Khersonska (53%) and Zaporizka oblasts (43%).
The largest share of those, who believe Donbas should be granted a certain or significant autonomy, was observed in Donetska, Kharkivska (each 23%) and Luhanska oblasts (22%).
The largest share of supporters of the independent status of Donbas was observed among the surveyed respondents of Dnipropetrovska oblast (12%). Also, among the residents of Dnipropetrovska oblast the share of those in favor of division of Donbas was very significant (almost one in every five), which is unique among all studied oblasts.
The largest share of respondents that were unable to choose a clear answer or outright refused to answer the question was observed among those surveyed in Kharkivska (43%) and Donetska oblasts (39%).
The survey was conducted by the company GfK commissioned by the Institute of Mass Information with the support of the Ukraine Confidence Building Initiative (UCBI) and USAID in January-March of 2017 in eight oblasts of the East and the South of Ukraine (Dnipropetrovska, Kharkivska, Zaporizka, Mykolayivska, Khersonska and Odeska oblasts, the territories of Donetska and Luhanska oblasts under control of the Ukrainian government). The survey covered 15,103 respondents. The theoretical margin of error for the entire sample does not exceed 1% and 2.5% for each oblast with probability of 0.95. The first wave of the research was conducted in November 2015 – January 2016 and covered 13, 830 respondents in six oblasts of the East and the South of Ukraine (all listed above, except for Khersonska and Mykolayivska oblasts).
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