60% of Kazakhstanis support Russia on Ukrainian crisis23 april 2014, 22:44
A survey has been conducted in the beginning of this month to assess attitudes of Kazakhstanis to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, Tengrinews reports.
The survey was conducted by the polling center called “Strategy”, whose president Gulmira Ileuova provided some details about the new study.
She told that the survey ran from 1 to 10 of April in all the major cities of Kazakhstan and recorded the responses of 1600 citizens. Of them, 85% know about the ongoing crisis, 1% had difficulties recalling the situation and the rest did not know there was any deterioration in the relations between Russia and Ukraine.
Half of the respondents, who knew about the situation, got their information from Kazakhstan’s media outlets, 30.6 percent read Russian news, and 9 percent used social media.
62% of those surveyed support the Russian position in the crisis and only 5% support the Ukrainian side, Ileouva said. Those who do not support the official position of Russia amount to 15% and those opposing Ukraine to 68%. A large minority of respondents - 27 percent - had difficulties siding with either party.
The survey also asked whether the respondents knew the official position of Kazakhstan’s government on the issue. It shows that 32.5 percent think that Kazakhstan supports Russian and 1 percent believe that Kazakhstan sides with Ukraine. In addition, 1.5 percent think that Kazakhstan condemned Russia’s actions. The same number is true for those who think Kazakhstan condemned Ukrainian stance. Almost a quarter of respondents consider that Kazakhstan took a neutral approach towards the crisis. Those who think the country does not have any particular view on the issue constitute 6.7 percent of the respondents. A third of those surveyed answered that they do not know what Kazakhstan’s position was.
Ileouva said that the survey included a question on the kind of position Kazakhstan should have taken regarding the crisis. There is no strong consensus but the majority incline towards neutrality or assistance in peaceful resolution of the crisis: 24.3 percent believe that the position should be neutral, 28.3% believe that Kazakhstan should take a more active in resolving the crisis, 31% believe that Kazakhstan should be on Russia’s side and recognize the independence of Crimea, and only 2.3% declared that the country should support the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
In her interview to Radiotochka Ileouva commented on two important conclusions from the survey. First of all, the interest and knowledge of the issue was stronger in the Russian-speaking part of the population (91% of Russian speaking respondents and 81% of those whose mother tongue is Kazakh know about the situation). Secondly, the media can shape respondents' opinions: those who watch Kazakhstani news incline towards a more moderate position; on the contrary, those preferring Russian media form a more rigid stance.
Reporting by Roza Yessenkulova, writing by Dinara Urazova