A poll conducted by Russia's respected independent pollster, Levada Center, in the wake of inclusion of Crimea into Russia indicates Russians support absorption of more land from post-Soviet neighbors, according to Vedomosti.
Two-thirds of Russians believe that Russia can take over other regions of Ukraine , if their population, like Crimeans , favor separation from Ukraine and joining of Russia, according to the nation-wide poll conducted by Levada on March 21-24. Only a fifth of respondents ( 19% ) believe that Russia should refrain from doing. 88 % said they personally supported inclusion of Crimea into Russia and only 7% were against.
58% believe Russia has the right to incorporate any territories inside former Soviet Union, where where ethnic Russians reside as Russians must protect its own. Only 4% of respondents believe that any rights to it in Russia.
62% believe it was the desire to protect the lives and well-being of ethnic Russians – that were supposedly threatened by Ukrainian nationalists – that drove the Russian authorities' actions in Ukraine, motivating them to give the Russian president authority to use military force .
A significant proportion of respondents (39 %) believe that the Russian government wanted to restore order in Ukraine disrupted after a “coup” staged by those involved in protests at Kiev's Maidan.
A third ( 32%) agree with the argument of President Vladimir Putin that the incorporation of the Crimea was in fact both restoration of historical justice and return of Russia's historical territories.
The proportion of those who support the government's actions in the Crimea and in solidarity with its arguments, is now very high – at 90 %, whereas usually 30% of Russians oppose actions of the Russian government, according to deputy director of Levada Alexei Grazhdankin.
PS I am now starting to get a sense what Russian government's leaders meant when they threatened to respond with "asymmetrical measures" to US sanctions. The government announced on Wednesday that ministers would ditch Ipads for Samsung tablets. (It could also be a signal that Russia's future lies with South Asia, which is rising, whereas West, as seen from Moscow, is declining.