September 17th, 2015 –
PolitNavigator – translated for Fort Russ by Joaquin Flores –
In Lugansk there is a rapidly growing number of supporters for joining Russia, according to Alexander Protsenko, director of the sociological center “Особое мнение.”
According to him, in 2014, on the eve of the referendum, in Lugansk the predominant sentiment was in favor of preserving the region within Ukraine, but based upon regional rights in the context of federalization.
“In May last year before the referendum, we conducted a study. We asked people what the future should hold for their region, what they would like to see? The choice to enter the Russian Federation at the time was about a quarter of respondents. The most popular option was to remain a part of Ukraine, but within a federation. Figuratively speaking, they wanted to show the people sitting in Kiev the mess, and to give them a slap, “- said the expert.
However, Protsenko said, “then something happened that radically changed the mood” [could that have been death squads and shelling civilian areas? – .ed]
According to the sociologist, a February 2015 study shows a steady increase in the number of supporters for Donbass reunification with Russia.
Thus, in May 2015 the figure was 52%, and in August, the figure reached 61%.
“The opinion has changed dramatically. The growing number is reflecting how people’s hopes have melted away that someone will come to power in Ukraine who can carry on normal partner-like relations with Donbass” – said Protensko
“If the question is about the referendum, the rate will be higher, we can say unambiguously,” – says the sociologist.
“Now Donbass is slowly but surely drifting towards the Russian Federation. If there is no improvement from the Ukrainian side and if there will be a political outcome, the drifting attains cruising speed “, – he concluded