Survey: Every sixth Ukrainian sees volunteer battalions as oligarchs' private armies

8 january 2015 | 13:00

Nevertheless, the majority perceives positively these military units.

Добровольческий батальон Донбасс
Ukrainians generally have ambiguous but still positive attitude towards volunteer battalions.
Almost a third (31.6%) of Ukrainians calls the Ukrainian volunteer battalions fighting in the Donbas as military-patriotic elite, suggests a survey ordered by the ZN.UA and conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology.

Notably, that such an opinion was mostly supported in the West of the country (51.4%), the least – in the East (19.1%), while only 8.2% of people adhered to this option in the Donbas.

Read more: Survey: Ukrainians believe in reconciliation with Donbas

The second most popular option among the respondents as a whole (24.5%) was the vision of these units as a basis for the future professional army and reformed Ministry of Internal Affairs. It is noteworthy that the thoughts of the West (31.1%) and East (27.5%) were not too different on this issue. Such a vision of the Ukrainian volunteers' role is shared only by 6.2% of respondents in the Donetsk oblast' and by 12% in the Luhansk oblast'.

Volunteer battalions are cautiously perceived not only in the East, but also in the South. 28.4% of respondents in the East said that their soldiers are patriots of Ukraine, who, however, joined by a large number of criminals whose behavior discredits the Ukrainian government in the eyes of the local population. It is worth noting about a significant proportion of those who share this view in the Kherson oblast' (46%). For comparison, only 14.5% of respondents in Ukraine in general chose this option.

16% of Ukrainians believe that volunteer battalions are private armies of the oligarchs. This issue greatly divides the opinions of Ukrainians in different regions: only 3.4% of respondents expressed such an opinion in the Center, 24.7% - in the East, including 37.3% in the Donbas. This issue is very divisive for the inhabitants of the Donbas itself: 50.4% of Donetsk oblast' feel so about the volunteers, while only 12.9% in Luhansk oblast' share this opinion.

Read more: Survey: 81,4 % of Ukrainians are against Russian intervention in Donbas conflict

10.4% of respondents see volunteer battalions as potential coup organizers in Ukraine. It is noteworthy that every fifth (21.9%) respondent in the Zakarpattia oblast' supports this view over the battalions, while the percentage for the West as a whole is approximately equal to the average (10.7%).

You can read details of the results of the large-scale survey conducted among the Ukrainian residents in our special project "The song of the Motherland. The words of the people."

Source: ZN.UA

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