Pew Poll: The Majority of Ukrainians, Even in the East, Want to Stay as One Country 

The World
How It Works
May 8 2014 4:12 PM

Pew Poll: The Majority of Ukrainians, Even in the East, Want to Stay as One Country 

pg_14.05.09_urkrainemap_chart_6.6in

Pew Research Center

A new Pew Research Center poll, conducted in April, finds that the majority of Ukrainians want the country to stay united. This is the case even in the country’s more Russian-influenced east, though support is not surprisingly lower there. Among Russian speakers, 58 percent said the country should remain divided. Only in Crimea, now under the de facto control of Russia, did a strong majority support secession. 

Joshua Keating Joshua Keating

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

The country’s start political divisions remain in place, however, with 67 percent of the population of the east expressing negative feelings about the government in Kiev, compared with just 24 percent positive. The numbers are almost a mirror image of those in the West. In general, Ukrainians were not at all confident that the May 25 presidential elections will be conducted fairly.

Advertisement

A parallel poll conducted in Russia found that the vast majority supported the March 16 referendum in Crimea and that 61 percent agreed that there are parts of neighboring countries which should rightly belong to Russia.

It should be pointed out that the “east,” as defined in this poll, is a larger region than the southeastern oblasts of Luhansk and Donetsk, which are currently under separatist control and where support for secession in highest. In three days those two regions are holding a referendum on secession, despite Vladimir Putin's suggestion that it be delayed.

The poll suggests that the events of the last few weeks have not significantly changed Ukrainian attitudes toward unity. It’s a starkly divided country, but it still wants to be a country.

But while the majority of Ukrainians don’t feel that either the annexation of Crimea or the referendum that affirmed were legitimate, the poll does suggest that the region’s new status is likely to be permanent. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.