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Seventy percent of Ukrainians would accept compromise resolution of Donbas conflict – poll

Kyiv, July 17, 2017.

Seventy percent of Ukrainians believe that peace in Donbas requires a compromise resolution. However, only 18% are willing to accept peace at any cost. The support of compromise resolution increases with the proximity to the frontline.  Iryna Bekeshkina, Director of the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, reported these nationwide poll results during a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “The majority believes that all that is listed in the Minsk Agreements or is being proposed by Russia is not really the key to achieving peace,” Oleksii Haran, Professor of Political Science at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Research Director at the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, added.

More than half of the respondents support the proposal to legally recognize the uncontrolled territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as occupied ones. “I think that 85% of our citizens, even among those who favor the recognition of the territories as occupied, are not aware of further consequences, […] or why this should or should not be done in general. In my opinion, our population has very low awareness on this important matter,” Heorhii Tuka, Deputy Minister for Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine, said.

Fifty-five percent of Ukrainians see so-called “DNR” and “LNR” as part of Ukraine on pre-war conditions as their political future. In the East of the country, 47% of respondents supported this option. “We should note an increasing number of those who are not willing to give these territories any kind of autonomy at all,” Ms. Bekeshkina said. International pressure on Russia and revival of normal life pace on the controlled territories of Donbas are considered to be the most effective ways of resolving the conflict. Forty-seven percent of respondents supported the “DNR” and “LNR” trade blockade. However, as Iryna Bekeshkina noted, Ukrainians don’t have a single opinion on the subject of domestic policy in the matter.  Compared to the last year, she noted a decrease in the number of people who believe it’s necessary to stop funding these territories, recognize Russian as the second state language, or introduce a federal system in Ukraine in order to establish peace. Sixty-nine percent of Ukrainians called for an increased control over payments to internally displaced persons, so as to avoid corruption.

Sixty percent of the respondents supported the deployment of the international peacekeeping mission in Donbas. South was the only region with a slightly prevailing number of opponents (38% – opposed, 36% – supported). “Recently, a tendency of the South becoming a worrying region, in general, has started to show. This is no less alarming than when it comes to Donetsk and Luhansk regions. And this requires close attention – especially Odesa region, ” Ms. Bekeshkina stressed. “We must clearly understand that the deployment of the UN peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine is almost unrealistic today,” Oleksii Melnyk, co-director of foreign policy and international security programs of the Razumkov Centre, added.

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