Almost 90% of residents of Crimea confirm choice in favor of Russia made 5 years ago - poll
SIMFEROPOL. March 14 (Interfax) - An overwhelming majority of residents of Crimea, 89%, still support the inclusion of the peninsula in Russia, according to the results of a survey done by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM), which were presented by VCIOM General Director Valery Fyodorov in Simferopol.
"The attitude to the reunion of Crimea and the Russian Federation remains definitely positive: 89% of the people would vote at a referendum for the reunion of Crimea and Russia if it was conducted this coming Sunday, and 93% are generally positive about this reunion. The level of negative assessments and declared voting for the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as part of Ukraine is minimal (3% each)," according to the materials presented on Thursday.
In general in Russia, 88% of the respondents are positive about the inclusion of Crimea in Russia.
The poll shows that the level of the social wellbeing of residents of Crimea is high: 82% of the respondents said they tend to be happy about their life, while 17% said the opposite. The nationwide indicators are generally lower: 64% of the respondents are happy about their life.
The inter-ethnic situation is the region is assessed as calm, with 92% of the respondents characterizing the relations between Crimeans of various ethnic origins as good. Eighty-nine percent of the respondents reported having no conflicts based on ethnic origin.
"Only five percent of the respondents have the opposite viewpoint, they characterize inter-ethnic relations in places of residences as a conflict," Fyodorov said.
"Another interesting aspect is the ratio of the evaluations given by Crimeans of various origins. It was determined that there is practically no difference here. Ninety-three percent of Russians, 92% of Ukrainians and 92% of Crimean Tatars who live in the Republic of Crimea describe inter-ethnic relations as good," Fyodorov said.
The survey was conducted by two polls, which were conducted by phone: a regional poll conducted on March 10 and a nationwide poll conducted on March 12. The polls survey 1,600 respondents.
Crimea, which stayed as an autonomous republic within Ukraine after it gained independence after the Soviet collapse, became part of Russia in March 2014 following a regional referendum.
Ukraine refuses to recognize the referendum's results and still sees the peninsula as its territory, albeit temporarily occupied. European Union countries and the United States labeled Russia's steps as "annexation" and imposed sanctions on a number of companies, politicians and businesspeople.
Russia, for its part, insists that the Crimea issue is closed once and for all and that the peninsula is Russian territory.