Polling conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (Vtsiom), post-Soviet Russia's oldest polling institution, has found that 94 percent of Russians would not like to see a Euromaidan-like scenario in Russia, and 76 percent are confident that such a revolt is "not possible in principle."
Respondents from across Russia's regions in both cities and rural areas are unified in their opposition to Euromaidan, with nearly 19 in 20 saying that they would not like to see a repeat of the scenario in Russia, with two percent saying the opposite and four percent finding it difficult to answer. Meanwhile, 76 percent noted that a Euromaidan-like color revolution is "not possible in principle" in Russia with 15 percent saying the opposite and nine percent finding it difficult to answer.
This leaves opinion virtually unchanged from a poll conducted a year ago, in February 2014, when 75 percent of respondents gave the view that a Maidan scenario in Russia would be impossible; 15 percent said that it was, and 10 percent found it difficult to answer.
Valeri Fedorov, Vtsiom's General Director, noted that Russians are in principle fearful of revolutions, given the country's turbulent history, adding that they are particularly fearful of the Ukrainian scenario: "People seem to realize that these revolutions result not only in confusion and chaos, but also in serious negative consequences for Russia…An 'Orange Revolution' took place as far back as 2004 [in Ukraine]. Last year, Russians had the most negative expectations [toward a repeat in 2014]. They expected an economic downturn, policy reversals, a socioeconomic crisis, etc. These were the expectations, and now a year has passed, and it turned out that everything is even worse than expected, plus a war has started. Therefore, Russians have only become more entrenched in their positions."
Polling was carrying out late last month; 1,600 people in 132 locations across Russia were asked the questions "Would you personally like to see events analogous to the Ukrainian Euromaidan revolution?" and "Do you think that large scale political protests analogous to those which occurred in the 2014 Euromaidan in Ukraine are possible in Russia?" The margin of error is estimated at 3.5 percent.
Earlier this week, polling conducted by the Public Opinion Fund found that 60 percent of Russians hope for improved relations with Ukraine in the near future, with seven percent saying that this will be possible only in the long term; ten percent found it hard to answer. Meanwhile, 64 percent believe that Ukraine will not be able to join the European Union, and 20 percent said the opposite; 59 percent believe that Ukraine will not be able to join NATO, and 22 percent said the opposite.
In November 2013, following the announcement by Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov that the planned-for signing of an Association Agreement with the European Union had been put off, supporters of European integration occupied Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Kiev's central square. Maidan would go on to become the epicenter of protests against the presidency of Viktor Yanukovich, with clashes occurring between protestors and police and instability spreading throughout the rest of the country. In late February, Yanukovich was forced to abandon the presidency in an unconstitutional maneuver which has since been described as a coup d'état by pro-European integrationist forces. In May 2014, billionaire Petro Poroshenko won snap elections and became the new president of Ukraine.
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