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Majority of Germans recognize accession of Crimea – poll

Published time: March 24, 2014 03:06
People hold a Crimean flag in front of Lenin's statue in the centre of Simferopol March 18, 2014 (Reuters / David Mdzinarishvili)

People hold a Crimean flag in front of Lenin's statue in the centre of Simferopol March 18, 2014 (Reuters / David Mdzinarishvili)

A new opinion poll has revealed that the majority of Germans recognize the accession of Crimea to Russia. At the same time, most of them also view the West’s response as appropriate.

The public opinion poll was conducted by TNS Research at the request of Der Spiegel.

According to 54 percent of the German respondents, the West should recognize Crimea’s accession as something that has already happened.

Meanwhile, 55 percent of those questioned said that they agree to a certain extent that Russian President Vladimir Putin views Ukraine, notably the Crimean peninsula, as a zone of Russian influence.

At the same time, 60 percent of the respondents stated that they believe the West's reaction to Russia’s actions are adequate.

In contrast, another 34 percent answered that the US and the EU’s introduction of sanctions was “excessive.”

Crimea held its referendum last Sunday, with over 96 percent of voters answering in favor of the autonomous republic joining Russia.

On Friday, Crimea and the city of Sevastopol were officially accepted into the Russian Federation, with President Putin signing the finalizing decree.

Russian lawmakers previously ratified an international treaty with Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which the sides signed at the Kremlin on March 18.

Crimea’s rejoining of Russia was triggered by an armed coup in Kiev, which saw Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich ousted and sparked fears that the unrest and far-right violence may spread east and south.

The majority of the population in Crimea are ethnic Russians and Russian speakers. In 1954, a controversial decision of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, himself an ethnic Ukrainian, transferred the Crimea peninsula to the Ukrainian SSR, extracting it from Russian territory.

Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Khrushchev’s “gift” has been widely criticized by many Russians, including the majority of those living in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

Comments (53)


Dmitry Ford 30.03.2014 20:52

The situation in this area is complex.
Crimea was traditionally Russian until it was given to the Ukraine in 1954, for no apparent reason.
Putin regrets the splitting of the states from the USSR.
It's one back.
I doubt there will be any further issues with the Ukraine.
The vote may have been a little corrupt, but we all know, if it was an honest vote, it would have gone the sam way.
By the way, many jurisdictions, such as Kosovo, and even when Germany unified, was not done within compliance with the UN rules.


Isobel Jardine 27.03.2014 12:38

The criticism from the US particularly tries to imply that President Putin has suddenly decided to 'invade' Crimea. The referendum only arose after the events in Kiev and contrary to statements made by the US Department, there is evidence of a threat to Crimean Russians by 'ultranationalists' in Kiev. The UN has formally recognized that and is sending in observers. The ultranationalists have risen as a result of US intervention in Ukrainian politics, following which the elected President was ousted. There would not have been a referendum if that situation had not occurred.


AG 27.03.2014 05:23

m ptc 25.03.2014 12:23

So 60 years ago Crimea was what! Answer MD's question...where do you draw the line
50 years, 100 or 200? The borders of Europe have changed so much over the years, many other countries could make similar claims based of previous geography.


Th e issue here is that many people living in Crimea were born in Russia and want to be in their birth country. Majority of the population wanted to separate from Ukraine and they did. This has nothing to do with the number of years. If anything it is more wrong for you or anyone else to dictate what people can do

View all comments (53)
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