Levada Poll Shows Russians Continued Support for Involvement in Conflict, Sessation of Donbass

Please see below my translation of the 02.20.15-02.23.15 national poll on Russians attitudes’ toward the conflict in Ukraine conducted by the independent Levada Center. Note that I have merged all the "rather" and "definitely" categories (while Levada would distinguish those "definitely" in favor (or against) and those "rather" in favor (or against), I have summed them up into "in favor" and "against"). I know pollsters would disapprove, but that way it's easier to read the results.
The poll indicates that in spite of economic pain, partially caused by sanctions, majority of Russians (1) continue to support  Russians' participation in the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine, though this support has diminished somewhat since June'14; and (2) favor separation of Lugansk and Donetsk from Ukraine.   Moreover, while 60% of Russians oppose overt deployment of Russian troops more Russians (44%) would support Russian leadership if there is an open conflict between Ukraine than Russia than oppose it (39%). I would imagine the actual share of supporters would grow higher if Russia's involvement in eastern Ukraine becomes overt if only because the Kremlin would rally for such support through TV, which remains the main source of news, and because  the combat phase of a Russian military intervention would probably enjoy success. It's also interesting that 34% of Russians think there is already a war between Russia and Ukraine.

Do you think there are Russian troops in Ukraine? (%)

Sept.14 Nov.14 Feb.15
Yes 29 25 25
No 49 53 53
Difficult to say 23 22 22

What is your attitude toward Russians volunteers fighting on the (side) militia’s side in Ukraine?

May’14 June’14 Sept.’14 Nov.14 Feb.’15
Positive 61 64 57 55 52
Negative 19 19 25 26 31
Difficult to say 20 17 18 20 17

What would be your attitude if you had learned that there were active-duty Russian military servicemen fighting in the ranks of the militia?

Nov.14 Feb.’15
Positive 45 45
Negative 34 35
Difficult to say 22 20

Do you agree that there is a war underway between Ukraine and Russia?

Apr.’14 Aug.’14 Feb.’15
Yes 34 26 34
No 57 59 60
Difficult to say 9 15 7

Do you think Russian forces should be deployed to Eastern Ukraine if fighting resumes there?

Sep.14 Nov.14 Feb.’15
Yes 21 23 25
No 63 63 63
Difficult to say 16 20 16

Will you support the leadership of Russia if there is an open (overt) military conflict between Russia and Ukraine?

March'14 May'14 Aug.'14 Feb.’15
Yes 74 69 41 44
No 13 16 43 39
Difficult to say 13 14 16 18

What do you think the future holds for Eastern Ukraine (Donetsk and Lugansk regions)? What option would you prefer?

2014 2015
Would prefer eastern Ukraine to become an independent state 12 25 36 39 41 40 46 43 40 43 41
Would prefer eastern Ukraine to remain part of Ukraine, but gain greater independence from Kiev 17 21 17 19 17 18 21 18 25 17 21
Would prefer eastern Ukraine to become part of Russia 48 35 26 25 23 21 16 17 13 19 15
Would prefer eastern Ukraine to retain the same status it had before the conflict 8 6 6 5 7 6 5 6 6 4 7
Difficult to say 15 13 15 12 12 16 13 16 16 17 16

How do you think the conflict in Ukraine will end?

Sept.14. Feb.’15
DPR and LPR (Novorossiya) will continue to exist as independent states, like Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia 30 38
Donetsk and Luhansk regions will return to  Ukraine with broad autonomy granted to them and , federalization of Ukraine will begin 19 18
This conflict will drag on for many years, like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 16 12
DPR and LPR (Novorossiya) will become part of Russia 10 9
Donetsk and Luhansk regions will return to Ukraine with their status being the same as any other Ukrainian region 6 3
Difficult to say 19 20

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