Some 42.3% of Ukrainians believe that Russian-occupied Crimea can be returned to Ukraine only in the long run, according to a nationwide survey conducted by Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Ukrainian Centre for Economic and Political Studies named after Oleksandr Razumkov on August 16-22, 2018.
Sociologists asked the respondents of which country Crimea they think should be part.
So, 68.9% of Ukrainians consider that Crimea should be part of Ukraine, 12.5% of respondents say it should be like Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria, while 4.4% of citizens believe that the peninsula should be part of Russia. Another 14.2% of respondents have found it difficult to answer the question.
Ukrainians were also asked if Crimea's return to Ukraine is possible in the future.
Some 42.3% of respondents believe that most likely it is possible, but only in the long run; 20.1% of citizens said it is already impossible; while 15.5% of respondents said "No," it is absolutely impossible as Ukraine has lost Crimea for good. A mere 5.4% of Ukrainians believe that Crimea's return is possible in the near future. At the same time, 16.7% of respondents have found it difficult to answer the question.
Moreover, sociologists asked those respondents who believe that Crimea may be returned, under what circumstances or how this could be done. Polled Ukrainians were allowed to choose at most three responses at a time.
Some 38.8% of Ukrainians believe that this is possible subject to the change of power (president) in the Russian Federation, 31.6% of respondents mentioned a significant strengthening of sanctions and pressure on Russia by the international community that will force the aggressor state to return Crimea to Ukraine. At the same time, 31 % of respondents put emphasis on reforms and an increase in well-being in Ukraine, which would attract Crimean residents. Meanwhile, 14.4% of respondents believe that Crimea could return to Ukraine due to the deterioration of the political and economic situation in Russia, while only 9.6% of Ukrainians consider the peninsula could be returned by force – a military offensive by the Ukrainian Army.
The survey was conducted across Ukraine with the exception of Crimea and the occupied areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. A total of 2,019 respondents aged 18 and older were interviewed. The margin of error does not exceed 2.3%.