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Three polls apparently not obtained at gunpoint confirm legitimacy of Crimea’s positive result in March 2014 referendum to rejoin Russia: Pew, Gallup, and GfK German poll. US stooges suggested result was due to “heavily armed Russian troops” intimidating voters

January 17, 2020

Without pointing guns at Crimean respondents, an April 2014 Pew Poll using face to face interviews found 91% of Crimeans view their March 16, 2014 referendum to rejoin Russia as free and fair. Propagandists had claimed such results could only have been obtained at the point of a Russian gun, per NY Times. With thousands of heavily armed Russian troops occupying” Crimea, voters were under duress of Russian military intervention,” per Obama. As a point of information, by agreement in effect until 2042, 25,000 Russian troops can be stationed 24/7 in Crimea. If you didn’t know that and read NY Times 3/16/2014 opening sentence  about “thousands of heavily armed Russian troops” in Crimea, preceded by its scary headline that voting occurred “as Russian troops keep watch, you’d be free to incorrectly assume that Russian troops had invaded Crimea and intimidated voters. As it happens, in addition to 25,000 troops, Russia is allowed to keep “132 armored combat vehicles and 24 pieces of artillery at its military facilities in Crimea.The same long term agreement allows Russia to use Crimean Black Sea ports and Crimean naval facilities for its fleet.

May 14, 2014, “Despite Concerns about Governance, Ukrainians Want to Remain One Country,” Pew Poll

April 5-23, 2014 survey in Ukraine by Pew Research Center, face-to-face interviews with 1,659 randomly selected adults from across the country, Ukraine error margin 3.3:

[Scroll down]: Crimean residents are almost universally positive toward Russia. At least nine-in-ten have confidence in Putin (93%) and say Russia is playing a positive role in Crimea (92%). Confidence in Obama is almost negligible at 4%, and just 2% think the U.S. is having a good influence on the way things are going on the Crimean peninsula.

International attention has focused on Crimea in large part due to the March 16th referendum on seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia.According to the reported results, most of the Crimean residents who participated voted for secession.Few in the international community have accepted the outcome. [What is definition of “international community?” Do links exist detailing how it computes what it “accepts”? If the “community” doesn’t accept Crimea’s March 2014 referendum “outcome,” would they accept the “outcome” of April 2014 Pew Poll results?]

For their part, Crimeans seem content with their annexation by Russia. Overwhelming majorities say the March 16th referendum was free and fair (91%) and that the government in Kyiv ought to recognize the results of the vote (88%).

In Russia proper, the public also sees the matter as closed. More than eight-in-ten Russians (84%) think the March 16th referendum was fair and even more (89%) say Kyiv ought to validate the results, according to a new Pew Research survey in Russia, conducted among 1,000 randomly selected adults between April 4-20….

Putin appears to have scored a political victory at home with his handling of the Ukraine crisis. More than eight-in-ten Russians (83%) express confidence in Putin to handle world affairs. At the same time, 92% have a favorable view of their country, including 51% who express a very favorable opinion of their homeland – up 22 percentage points from last year [2013]. When it comes to Russia’s image abroad, a 43%-plurality of Russians think Putin’s response to the situation in Ukraine has made people in other countries more favorably inclined toward Russia; just 26% think it has had the opposite effect….

Crimeans Happy with Simferopol, Critical of Kyiv

Crimeans are very satisfied with the leadership in Simferopol. Roughly eight-in-ten (83%) say Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov is having a good influence on the way things are going in Crimea. Similarly, 82% give the government in Simferopol high marks….

In stark contrast, Crimeans are extremely critical of the government in Kyiv. Fewer than one-in-ten (7%) think the Ukrainian government respects personal freedoms. And just two-in-ten say the upcoming elections for the next administration in Kyiv will be conducted fairly….

(p. 4) Increasingly Negative Views of U.S., EU

Russian opinions of the U.S. are at their lowest point since Pew Research began polling in Russia 12 years ago [2002]. Only 23% give the U.S. a favorable rating, down sharply from 51% last year.

Previously, the lowest favorability rating for the U.S. was 37%, registered in May 2003, shortly after the start of the Iraq war, when ratings for the U.S. were at a nadir in many countries.

Ratings for President Obama are also negative. Only 15% of Russians say they have confidence in the American leader to do the right thing in world affairs.

Eight-in-ten lack confidence in Obama, up from 51% last year and 44% in 2012.

Attitudes toward the EU have also turned sharply negative. Only 39% of Russians express a favorable opinion of the institution, down from 64% in 2011.”…


Added: Two other polls reinforce findings of above April 2014 Pew Poll: June 2014 Gallup Poll and a 2015 poll by German company Gfk. Per March 20, 2015 Forbes:

One Year After Russia Annexed Crimea, Locals Prefer Moscow To Kiev,Forbes, March 20, 2015

“In June 2014, a Gallup poll with the Broadcasting Board of Governors asked Crimeans if the results in the March 16, 2014 referendum to secede reflected the views of the people. A total of 82.8% of Crimeans said yes. When broken down by ethnicity, 93.6% of ethnic Russians said they believed the vote to secede was legitimate, while 68.4% of Ukrainians felt so. Moreover, when asked if joining Russia will ultimately make life better for them and their family, 73.9% said yes while 5.5% said no.

In February 2015, a poll by German polling firm GfK revealed that attitudes have not changed. When asked Do you endorse Russia’s annexation of Crimea? a total of 82% of the respondents answered yes definitely, and another 11% answered yes, for the most part [total 93% positive]. Only 2% said they didn’t know, and another 2% said no. Three percent did not specify their position.”


Added about GfK poll: Propagandists should grab the digitalis because GfK is anything but a Putin stooge polling group.GfK in Jan. 2015 apparently without pointing a gun at Crimean respondents validated positive Crimean March 2014 referendum results that propaganda had suggested could only have been obtained because Russian military weapons were pointed at their heads and terrorizing the population.,…”And the moment of truth:What is your opinion of what is being written by the Ukrainian media about Crimea?Only 1% of those surveyed reported that the Ukrainian media “provides entirely truthful information.”

10/2/2015, German sociologists on Crimea’s choice, Oriental Review, Konstantin Kosaretsky (Ukrainian freelance journalist and writer)

“A few days ago an interesting study, “The Socio-Political Sentiments in Crimea,” was released by the Ukrainian branch of GfK, the well-known German social research organization, as part of the Free Crimea initiative. Intriguingly, the primary objectives of this project, launched with the support of the governmental Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, were to “debunk aggressive Russian propaganda” and to “reintegrate Crimea into Ukraine.” Thus the researchers can hardly be suspected of being Russian sympathizers. So let’s take a look at the results.

The attitudes of Crimeans were studied in January 2015. This representative sample included 800 respondents living on the peninsula, from all age and social categories. The poll had an error margin of 3.5%.

In answer to the most important question: “Do you endorse Russia’s annexation of Crimea?82% of the respondents answered “yes, definitely,” and another 11% – “yes, for the most part.” Only 2% gave an unambiguously negative response, and another 2% offered a relatively negative assessment. Three percent did not specify their position.

We feel that this study fully validates the results of the referendum on reunification with Russia that was held on March 16, 2014. At that time 83% of Crimeans went to the polling stations and almost 97% expressed support for reunification.

Ukrainians continue to question whether this was a credible outcome, but it is now backed up by the data obtained by the Germans. The 82% of the respondents who expressed their full confidence in the results of the Russian election make up the core of the electorate who turned up at the ballot boxes on March 16, 2014.

These figures are also relevant in terms of another important question. The former chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean TatarsMustafa Dzhemilev, has repeatedly stated that all Tatars on the peninsula are opposed to reunification with Russia. Dzhemilev’s statements have been widely quoted by the media, which present them as entirely authoritative and undisputed.

But let’s think about that – Crimean Tatars make up 12% of the Crimean population, yet only 4% of those polled conveyed disapproval of Crimea’s reunification with Russia. And that 4% very likely includes not only Tatars, but also Ukrainians and citizens of other ethnicities. There’s an inconsistency here. Of course further study is needed on this issue, but the results obtained by GFK cast doubt on whether Mustafa Dzhemilev or the entire Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars is an accurate barometer of the feelings of the Crimean Tatar community….

GFK1No doubt it would be a good idea to hold such a referendum under the auspices of international legislation and in accordance with Ukrainian law. But would laws ever be passed that would grant Ukrainian regions the right to secede? Back in the totalitarian Soviet Union, Ukraine exercised its right to a referendum without a single shot being fired, while in “democratic Ukraine,” separatists are either burned alive in Odessa or are shot along with the elderly and children as is happening in the Donbass.

In answer to a question about their financial circumstances, 21% of Crimeans said that in the last year their position had “improved significantly,” while another 30% claimed it had “somewhat improved. Only 13% of that population has experienced a setback, to a greater or lesser extent. This suggests that, despite EU sanctions on the peninsula’s economy, and despite Ukraine’s partial blockade on communication from Crimea, the reunification with Russia has provided most Crimeans with material gains. But even among those who have not reaped those sorts of benefits, there are few signs of nostalgia for their old Ukrainian citizenship: although 13% of citizens have seen their financial well-being decline, only 4% disapprove of the reunification with Russia. These figures suggest that economic sanctions are an ineffective means of persuading the residents of the Crimea to view Ukraine more favorably.

The results of the survey indicate that 28% of the residents of the peninsula regularly watch Ukrainian TV, and another 20% regularly consult Ukrainian news websites. This proves that no steps have been taken in Crimea to restrict access to Ukrainian sources of information, such as Ukraine has done in relation to Russian media.

And now the moment of truth:What is your opinion of what is being written by the Ukrainian media about Crimea? Who could be a more objective judge on this issue than the residents of the peninsula themselves? Who else but they – who have been fated to experience all the pros and cons of both Ukrainian and Russian citizenship – could better evaluate the accuracy of the information being published? Perhaps no one.

However, only 1% of those surveyed reported that the Ukrainian media “provides entirely truthful information and 4% said it was “more often truthful than deceitful.” But 45% of respondents see “completely untrue information” on Ukrainian TV, and another 35% claim those broadcasts are “more often deceitful than truthful. The rest either do not watch Ukrainian news programs or do not pay attention to information in those programs about Crimea.


This is the verdict on the contemporary Ukrainian press, as handed down by an impartial panel of eight hundred jurors.

But if those who shape the media coverage in Ukraine today are so biased in regard to Crimea, how can we expect them to report objectively on other critical problems associated with this country? Can we trust Kiev’s official stance on the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17? Or on the causes of the humanitarian crisis in the Donbass? Or on the presence of Russian troops inside Ukraine? Or on the human fatalities in Odessa or the victims of the “Heavenly Hundred” [at Kiev’s Maidan in Feb. 2014, the terror and death caused by professional snipers shooting at both sides]?

GfK’s study demands a clear answer to these questions.”

Konstantin Kosaretsky is the Ukrainian freelance journalist and writer.

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