A clear majority of Ukrainians agree that their country should remain a single, unified state, according to a pair of new surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center in Ukraine and Russia //
The survey in Ukraine also finds a clearly negative reaction to the role Russia is playing in the country. By contrast, the poll in Russia reveals a public that firmly backs Vladimir Putin and Crimea’s secession from Ukraine.
Among Ukrainians, 77% say Ukraine should remain united, compared with 14% who think regions should be permitted to secede if they so desire.
In Ukraine’s west, which includes the central region around Kyiv (Kiev), as well as portions of the country that border Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, more than nine-in-ten (93%) think their nation should remain unified. A smaller majority (70%) in the country’s east – which includes areas along the Black Sea and the border with Russia – also prefer unity. Only in the breakaway territory of Crimea do more than half (54%) voice support for the right to secede.
The survey in Ukraine finds that ethnic Ukrainians and ethnic Russians largely have favorable views of one another. Nonetheless, there are stark regional divides, especially when it comes to the issues of official languages and governance. In western Ukraine, nearly two-thirds (66%) think only the Ukrainian language should have legal standing. By contrast, roughly seven-in-ten in eastern Ukraine (73%) say both Russian and Ukrainian should be official state languages. This view is especially widespread among the region’s Russian-only speakers1: 86% in this group think the Russian and Ukrainian languages should share official status. Meanwhile, in Crimea nearly three-quarters (74%) say both languages should have legal status on the Crimean peninsula.