Lottie Millington in London -
A poll conducted by VTsIOM has found that 58% of Russians do not think that support for separatists in the Donbas region of East Ukraine should cease in order to improve relations with Kyiv.
15% of respondents believe that Russia should not try to improve relations with Ukraine and the West, and only 11% feel that Russia should withdraw support for militias in Ukraine so that relations could improve.
The poll questioned 1,600 participants from 46 regions in Russia. Across all criteria, including low and high income, rural and urban dwellers, and young and old, the majority of respondents answered 'no' to Russia withdrawing support for the separatists, who have been waging a vicious war in the east of country after the Euromaidan protests in Kyiv toppled the pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014.
In past VTsIOM polls, the responses of the youngest and oldest age brackets have often had a negative correlation, but the question of support for the rebels appears not to be subject to demographics.
Russia-Ukraine relations appear to have hit rock bottom with 78% of Russians saying that the current relationship with Ukraine is negative. 38% describe relations as tense, 29% as hostile and 11% as cool. Only 8% of respondents feel that relations with Ukraine are positive.
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