Poll: More than 50% of Russians believe no Russian troops in Donbas
Over half of the Russians, or 52%, believe that there are no Russian forces in Donbas, while a quarter, or 26%, admit their presence in the east of Ukraine, according to the survey by Levada Center, an independent Russian polling and sociological research organization, Gazeta.ru has reported.
More than half of respondents, or 53%, support Russian volunteers who are fighting in the ranks of the militants in the east of Ukraine, while more than a quarter, or 27%, have a negative attitude toward them.
Asked how they would react to if they found out that the Russian military personnel were fighting in the ranks of the militants in the east of Ukraine, a total of 9% of respondents had reported an "absolutely positive" attitude, 24% - "rather positive", 26% - "rather negative", and 14% - "very negative." That means that the ratio of of those praising and criticising the involvement is 33% to 40%.
The number of those who are seriously afraid that the conflict enters a stage of a protracted civil war has decreased from 36% to 22% over the year. A total of 48% of respondents have "some concerns" about this. In July 2014, 26% of respondents were seriously afraid of war between Russia and Ukraine, and now their number is only 13%. The number of those who are afraid of a World War III decreased from 21% to 13%, while 30% of respondents have "some concerns."
It should be noted that this ratio saw just slight changes over a year.