Minorities refuse to take sides in Ukraine conflict, new poll shows

  • 2014-08-27
  • From wire reports, RIGA

Heavy shelling has hit areas of eastern Ukraine in recent months (photo: twitter)

Ethnic minorities living in Latvia have refused to take sides in the Ukraine conflict, a new poll commissioned by Latvia's State Chancellery shows.

A total of 41 percent of respondents said that they are neither for Russia or Ukraine during the conflict that has taken over eastern Ukraine. Elsewhere, 36 percent said they support Russia, 15 percent support Ukraine.

After being asked whether they support use of Russia's armed forces in Ukraine, a total of 29 percent of respondents said they do, while 45 were against the presence of Russia's armed forces in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, 43 percent of those interviewed believe that information about the events in Ukraine is represented in an objective way in Russian media, while 36 percent of respondents believe that Russian media are biased.

The study was conducted in May 2014, 801 persons from Latvia's ethnic minorities were interviewed, age 18 and older.

A separate study carried out by the research company GfK and the LETA news agency earlier this year showed that one-third of Latvia's residents believe pro Russian rebel activity in Ukraine is justified, whilst a proportion of non-Latvians who believe so is twice as high.

Sixteen percent of respondents said they considered Russia's decision to bring troops to Crimea and, potentially, to other regions of Eastern Ukraine completely justified, whereas 18 percent said this was partly justified, LETA reports.