Simferopol, Ukraine – Today, IRI released its survey of Crimean public opinion.  The poll, conducted September 20 – October 2, 2011, is a comprehensive analysis of attitudes regarding the Crimean economic, social and political landscape.

IRI’s 2011 survey reveals that Crimeans have become increasingly concerned about inflation and corruption, while Russian language issues and relations with Russia dropped in issues of concern since IRI’s 2009 survey.  Since that time, the Yanukovych administration has filled many administrative positions in Crimea with officials from the Donbas region in the eastern part of the country.  IRI’s 2011 survey shows that only seven percent of respondents support such actions.  Seventy-seven percent were in favor of the international community suspending visas and freezing assets abroad for Ukrainian officials, including judges, who are engaged in corrupt practices.

This is the second survey IRI has conducted in Crimea.  The first survey was conducted in November 2009.  This poll is part of IRI’s democratic development program in Ukraine, and was designed to enable leaders to identify citizen priorities, appropriately manage expectations, better inform the electorate of their progress and help foster the ongoing integration process of Crimea into Ukraine.

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 and education.  The margin of error for the national sample does not exceed + 2.8 percent.

Crimea is a distinct area of Ukraine, whose residents’ attitudes are influenced by their historical and cultural connection to Russia and tend to differ from residents in the rest of Ukraine.  Its ethnic composition of Ukrainians, Tatars and Russians further complicates the integration of Crimea into the wider social and political context of Ukraine.

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