Business New Europe: VTsIOM Poll: Russians appalled by aggressive behavior of Maidan activists

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – February 14, 2014) Russians disapprove of Ukrainian protesters who cast stones and bottles of incendiary liquid at the police, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said.

55% of the respondents condemned the aggressive behavior of Ukrainian demonstrators; 26% admitted their dislike for radically minded Ukrainian opposition activists; 15% said they were disappointed and 11% had no trust in the demonstrators. Ten percent said the radicals deserved nothing but mere disregard.

Only a few respondents supported the aggressiveness of Ukrainian protesters; 2% said they admired the demonstrators, 2% said the demonstrators inspired hope, and 1% respected and trusted them.

In the opinion of 59% of the respondents, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s Berkut special police unit was doing its job when it deterred the radical demonstrators. A third (32%) argued that Berkut was saving the country from a split and anarchy, and only 5% claimed that the police were protecting the criminal regime, beating average people and violating human rights.

VTsIOM polled 1,600 respondents in 130 populated localities in 42 regions on February 1-2.