Kyiv, Ukraine – IRI today released its survey of public opinion in Crimea. The poll indicates that the top issues that concern Crimeans involve the economy, with 68 percent of respondents citing unemployment as the top challenge, followed closely by control over price growth, low industry production and corruption within state bodies. 

Much like Ukrainians in general, Crimeans are pessimistic about the direction of their country, with 62 percent responding that the country is headed in the wrong direction.  While this is an improvement from IRI’s November 2009 poll when 80 percent replied that Ukraine was going in the wrong direction, it still reflects pessimism about Ukraine’s future.   

In contrast to other countries which experience ethnic tensions or conflict between Muslim and non-Muslim communicates, the IRI poll found that in Ukraine, there is very little ethnic tension between Crimean Tatar populations (traditionally Muslim) and other Crimeans. A total of 35 percent of respondents reported that there is no tension between ethnic Tartars and non-Tartar residents.  A further 60 percent reported that ethnic Crimeans are sufficiently represented in Crimean authority bodies.  Only 13 percent reported that their ethnicity influenced their employment prospects either negatively or positively. 

This survey was conducted May 16 – 30, 2013.  The randomly selected sample consists of 1,200 Crimean residents older than the age of 18 and eligible to vote and is representative of the general population by age, gender, education and religion. The margin of error for the national sample does not exceed plus or minus 2.8 percent.  The United States Agency for International Development-funded survey was conducted by IRI. The fieldwork was carried out by Rating Group Ukraine.

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