Most Ukrainians consider it wrong to decide to give up Crimea in 2014 without a fight.
Viktor Yanukovych / photo REUTERS
Moreover, the citizens blame for the loss of the peninsula not so much on Viktor Yanukovych, who was removed from power at that time, as on the new government, the oligarchs, the army and the Crimeans themselves.
This is evidenced by the results of a sociological study conducted by the research company “Active Group“December 17-20, 2021.
So, to the question “Could the decision of the new government in Kiev in February – March 2014 keep Crimea within Ukraine?” positive answers prevailed – 52% (23% – “yes, quite”, 29% – “rather yes”), a third of the respondents (32%) denied that the then new government had the ability to keep Crimea (19% – “more likely no”, 12 % – “absolutely not”).
Speaking about those responsible for the fact that Crimea was surrendered without a fight, Ukrainians do not pin all the blame on Viktor Yanukovych, who was deprived of his presidential powers at that time. Less than half (39%) of respondents blame him. President of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov, who at that time was the supreme commander-in-chief, is considered responsible in the first place by 24% of Ukrainians. However, to one degree or another (in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd stage) Turchinov is already considered guilty of surrendering Crimea without a fight by 53% of the respondents. Also, Ukrainians blame the oligarchs, the army and the Crimeans themselves.
Also, Ukrainians, on a 5-point scale, almost equally assess such factors as the mistakes of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych and his government, and the new government formed as a result of the Revolution of Dignity – 3.78 and 3.73, respectively.
Of interest are the assessments by the Ukrainians of the two “conspiracy” versions of the surrender of Crimea without a fight. According to the first, this happened as a result of the agreements between the West and Russia, within the framework of which the West forced Ukraine to surrender Crimea without a fight. ”38% of respondents gave this factor a rating of 4 and 5, and the weighted average score was 3.2 (the maximum recorded in Western Ukraine – 3.58).
The second “conspiracy theory” blames the surrender of Crimea without a fight on the new leadership of Ukraine, which wanted to “get rid of the pro-Russian electorate who lived in Crimea.” This factor was supported by 4 and 5 by only a quarter (25%) of the respondents, the weighted average estimate was 2.79 (and again the largest “conspiracy theorists” were residents of Western Ukraine – 3.4; here ratings 4 and 5 gave this factor 45% of respondents).
At the same time, the absolute majority of Ukrainians (51%) are more or less confident that the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Crimea should have offered armed resistance to the aggressors, while only a third of the respondents hold the opposite opinion.
To one degree or another, only 18% of respondents consider the decision to surrender Crimea without a fight to be correct, and 62% to one degree or another wrong.
The research was conducted by the “Active Group” company on December 17-20, 2021 by the method of personal interview (face-to-face). Geography: the entire territory of Ukraine with the exception of the occupied regions. A total of 2,656 respondents were interviewed. The sample is representative by age, sex, region of Ukraine and type of settlement (city / village). The error at a confidence level of 0.95 does not exceed 1.9% for the general survey and 4.9% for each of the macro-regions.