Did Savchenko reconcile Russians and Ukrainians?
Russians view Ukraine much better after the release of Nadezhda Savchenko, Levada Center provides this data on the results of the joint poll with Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), published on the website.
According to polls that were carried out from May 27th to 30th, 39% of Russians view Ukraine positively, 47% - negatively. A week earlier, before Savchenko's pardoning, only 26% of respondents viewed Ukraine positively, 63% - negatively. In May, 42% of Ukrainians viewed Russia positively, 47% - negatively.
At the same time, only one-third of Russia's population (37%) continue to closely monitor the Ukrainian events, almost half (46%) - did not pay special attention to it.
The citizens of Ukraine also started to show greater loyalty to Russia. The share of those who view Russia generally positively increased to 42% in May compared to 36% in February.
Views of nature of relations between the countries remain stable in both countries. Half of Russia's citizens (53%) still believe that Russia and Ukraine must be independent from each other, but still friendly - without visas and customs offices. 36% of Russians believe that it is necessary to close the border with Ukraine and to introduce visa regime. There is no consensus among the citizens of Ukraine: 44% of respondents spoke in favor of open borders, another 44% - in favor of visas and customs offices between the two countries. However, according to sociologists, despite the conflict, the majority of Russians are still in favor of establishment of friendly relations with Ukraine.
In addition, only 7% of respondents spoke in favor of union between our countries.
Only 9% of Russians expect the improvement of situation in Ukraine. More than half of them beleive that the Ukrainian situation will not change for at least a year. 25% of Russians fear that it will deteriorate.
It is not surprising that 38% of respondents spoke for the independence of DPR and LPR, 22% - offer to accede them to Russia, and only 20% spoke for the existing borders of Ukraine.
In an interview to Vestnik Kavkaza, Director General of the Center for Political Information Alexey Mukhin suggested that the improvement in relations between Russia and Ukraine has nothing to do with Nadezhda Savchenko. "It is primarily associated with the decrease of number of references to Ukraine in a particular context in the central federal channels, it has a conciliatory trend," the expert said.
When asked how long will it last, he noted: until the moment when the Ukrainian forces will begin their attack on Donbass. "It will cause a completely opposite reaction. But so far, Kiev manages to avoid sudden and aggressive action, and Russians have relaxed and observe how Russian economy dies," he noted.
"This trend emerged about six months ago, and it reaches its peak right now. It was noted by sociologists. By a strange coincidence, it happened at the same moment as the release of Savchenko. But Savchenko is not so important as an element of Russian-Ukrainian relations," he concluded.