January 6, 2015
Marcin Skalsky for Kresy.pl
Translated from Polish by J. Hawk
23.5% of Ukrainians believe that the Ukrainian state has lost Crimea forever. This was the most popular answer chosen by the people polled by the Kiev International Sociological Institute.
Only 18.5% of Ukrainians view the struggle for Crimea as sensible. 21.1% believe that Crimea might return to Ukraine once the country becomes an economically developing democracy. 16% believe that Crimea might return to Ukraine if Russia experiences a period of economic and political upheaval. 19.6% of respondents could not pick an option, and 1.9% of respondents refused to answer.
The highest proportion of respondents who believe that Crimea is lost to Ukraine forever was in the Donbass (49% of the respondents) and the eastern parts of Ukraine. The proportion favoring Ukraine regaining Crimea was 4.5% and 15.8%, respectively.
The percentage of respondents in the Donbass and Eastern Ukraine opposing the idea of Crimea returning to Ukraine is strikingly high, at more than twice the national average. It would seem that the Ukrainian campaign to suppress the insurgency in the Donbass only had the effect of hardening the attitudes against the Kiev government. Eastern Ukraine, while less predisposed to view Crimea as part of Russia, is likewise at odds with the policies of the Kiev government. By the same token, while the report does not specify the numbers, the proportion of inhabitants of Western Ukraine (where the popularity of Stepan Bandera and other extreme nationalists is the greatest) favoring the return of Crimea to Ukraine must be much higher than the national average. Thus the Crimean issue, far from consolidating the Ukrainian society, is a polarizing one.