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Most in eastern Ukraine region against joining Russia: Poll

Published on Apr 19, 2014 7:24 PM
 
Masked pro-Russian protesters stand guard outside a regional government building in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on April 19, 2014. A majority of inhabitants in Ukraine's pro-Russian protest hub Donetsk do not want to join Russia but consider the government in Kiev to be illegitimate, according to a poll published on Saturday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KIEV (AFP) - A majority of inhabitants in Ukraine's pro-Russian protest hub Donetsk do not want to join Russia but consider the government in Kiev to be illegitimate, according to a poll published on Saturday.

52.2 per cent of people questioned in the region, the focal point of separatist unrest that has seen pro-Moscow militants seize a string of towns, said they were against joining Russia while 27.5 per cent favoured rule from Ukraine's former Soviet master Moscow.

Among the 3,200 respondents across Ukraine's entire Russian-speaking south-east, the number of those opposed to Moscow taking control rose to 69.7 per cent, according to the poll from Kiev's Institute for International Sociology published in the Russian-language Weekly Mirror newspaper.

In the Donetsk region, where separatists have declared an independent republic and demanded a referendum on autonomy, 38.4 per cent said they backed Kremlin demands to federalise Ukraine and 41 per cent said they wanted a decentralisation of power.

 
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