Ukraine turmoil triggered by US provocations, majority of Russians maintain

Fire and smoke are seen in Independence Square during a rally held by anti-government protesters in central Kiev February 19, 2014. © David Mdzinarishvili
According to the latest opinion poll, Russians’ attitude towards Ukraine has worsened and the majority sees the events in that country as “anarchy and banditry” caused by the policies of the Kiev authorities and provoked from Washington.

Russian state-owned public opinion center VTSIOM reported on Friday that the attitude of ordinary Russians towards Ukraine in general has deteriorated if compared to the same period one year ago. The share of people who confessed that their attitude to Ukraine was ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ increased from 31 percent to 36 percent. However, those who have positive sentiments about Ukraine are still a majority of 50 percent, against 60 percent one year ago.

When researchers asked the respondents to describe the so called Maidan events – the overthrow of the Ukrainian president and instating of the current Kiev regime two years ago – 34 percent said they saw them as ‘anarchy and banditry’, 18 percent called them a coup d’état and 12 percent said that the events can be described as civil war.

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When asked about their ideas of the reasons behind the Ukrainian crisis, 20 percent of Russians named the wrong political course chosen by Kiev authorities, 19 percent said it was a result of a deliberate provocation on the part of the United States and 13 percent hold that the crisis resulted from regular struggle of politicians and businessmen for power and resources.

Some 81 percent of the Russian public said that the Maidan Square events had had primarily negative consequences for Ukrainian nations. 95 percent said that they were strongly opposed to attempts to implement a similar scenario in Russia.

Mass protests and riots on Kiev’s Independence Square (Maidan Nezaizhnosti in Ukrainian, also known simply as Maidan) started in late 2013 after the government announced it had no plans to sign an integration agreement with the European Union so as not to destroy established economic ties with Russia. In late February 2014, the riots led to the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovich, changes in the constitution and new presidential elections - won by billionaire owner of confectionary business Petro Poroshenko.

READ MORE: Most Russians see Ukrainian turmoil as civil war - poll

The coup also brought to power many open nationalists which caused discontent and resistance in the southeastern parts of the country, populated with ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers. Kiev’s attempts to quench the dissent with military force resulted in a full-scale military conflict and breaking away of the two self-proclaimed republics in Lugansk and Donetsk.

Peace talks are currently under way with Russia, Germany and France acting as guarantors of the ceasefire process. The next meeting of the so-called Normandy 4 (Ukraine being the fourth member of the group) is scheduled for March.