Forty-two percent of Russians believe that America’s decision to begin supplying Ukraine with arms “could ignite a world war,” according to a survey by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (WCIOM).
A third (35 percent) of the Russian people are convinced that America’s primary motivation for delivering arms to Ukraine is the desire to stir up hostilities. Less common suggestions were that America wanted to keep Ukraine destabilized (six percent) and weaken Russia (five percent). Another five percent of those surveyed claimed America’s goal is to strengthen its influence in Europe, or bring NATO bases closer to Russia’s borders. Others believe that the U.S. wants to occupy Ukraine (four percent) or achieve world domination (three percent), as seen in a publication on WCIOM’s website.
Forty-two percent of our countrymen believe that if America arms the Ukrainian army, it could lead to a new world war. Eighteen percent of respondents believe that the civil war in Ukraine would continue, and that the number of casualties would increase. A segment of those surveyed predicted worsening relations between Russia and Ukraine and the U.S. (one percent), the destruction of the Ukrainian state (one percent), and other consequences.
Nearly one in four participants in the survey (23 percent) are certain that Russia doesn’t need to do anything about the current situation (30 percent among those aged 18-24, 31 percent among residents of Moscow and Saint Petersburg). Those who suggest some sort of response most often refer to the necessity of sending assistance to the Donbass militias (14 percent).
Eight percent of those surveyed advise taking up arms and preparing for war. In contrast, 10 percent believe that the wisest course of action is to try to resolve the issue diplomatically through talks with the U.S. or other countries. Another seven percent of participants suggest that the Russian authorities must do something, but what exactly is hard to say. Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed have not made up their minds about this issue.
The WCIOM survey was carried out on Feb. 14-15, and surveyed 1,600 people in 132 communities in 46 Russian oblasts, krais, and republics. The statistical margin of error is no greater than 3.5 percent.
Readers will recall that in the beginning of February, a number of advisers and generals, including NATO Commander General Philip Breedlove, suggested to U.S. President Barack Obama that he begin delivering arms to Ukraine.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that Washington’s announcement of its intentions to give Kiev modern lethal weapons is a cause for concern, as it threatens Russia’s security.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated that as a result of his visit to the IDEX-2015 arms exhibition, he concluded around 20 contracts for deliveries of armaments to Kiev.
At the same time, First Deputy Chairman of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Andriy Paruby announced that he had brought a list of needed weaponry agreed upon by the Ukrainian security agencies to Washington.
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