For the second time in one week, published results of a major survey of the Crimean people show they are content with the decision one year ago to break from Ukraine.
The latest survey provides even more detail than the survey published by the German firm GfK on Feb. 4, 2015 (in Russian), including the astonishing fact that nearly 90 per cent of ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea who were polled support the break! (Results from the GfK survey, which was conducted in January 2014, were published in English on March 1, 2015.)
This latest survey was commissioned by John O’Loughlin, College Professor of Distinction and Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and Gerard Toal (Gearóid Ó Tuathail), Professor of Government and International Affairs at Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region campus. The survey was conducted in December 2014. Results are published in Open Democracy on March 3, 2015 and they show widespread support for Crimea’s decision to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation one year ago.
The authors hold the view that Crimea’s secession was “an illegal act under international law”. See the comments section of their article for contrary opinions to that.
While stating that view, the authors also write, “It [secession] is also an act that enjoys the widespread support of the peninsula’s inhabitants, with the important exception of its Crimean Tatar population.” They report that in May 2013, that is, during Ukrainian rule, only 22 per cent of Crimeans thought the region was “moving in the right direction”. That figure is now 85 per cent, including above 80 per cent among ehtnic Ukrainians.
The GfK study found that 51 per cent of Crimeans say their financial status has improved since last year, 35 per cent say it has remained the same and 13 per cent say it has deteriorated.
Concerning the Tatar “exception” which the two, latest authors claim, their survey actually shows the opposite. The survey asks for opinion of the “decision of Crimean authorities to join Russia”. Approximately 30 per cent of Tatar respondents say it was “wrong”, while an equal number say it was “generally right” and another 20 per cent say it was “absolutely right”. The final 20 per cent “don’t know” or refused to answer.
From the report:
- “Reunification’ with Russia enjoys considerable legitimacy within Crimea among most of the peninsula’s population.”
- In Crimea, there is “enormous support for the annexation, and the high level of optimism for the future”.
So here we have yet another report that blows out of the water the thesis (and justification for war) that the Crimean people are hapless victims of an “annexation” by Russia.
Find all this material and more about Crimea compiled in the ‘Crimea’ category on the New Cold War.org website: http://newcoldwar.org/category/crimea/. One of the recent items there is a column by Peter Hitchens in the right-wing Daily Mail newspaper in Britain which recounts the tumultuous several years in Crimea as Ukraine declared independence in 1991 and Crimeans attempted, unsuccessfully, to conduct their own free vote on their future.