Poll: Over half of Ukrainians against granting official status to Russian language

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Dec. 27, 2012, 2:20 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Among the biggest supporters of there being two official languages in Ukraine are residents of Donbas, southern and eastern regions.

Over half of Ukrainians are against granting official status to the Russian language, according to a survey conducted by the Rating Sociological Group this autumn. 

According to the survey, 51% of Ukrainians are against granting official status to the Russian language. At the same time, 41% of respondents supported this position, and 8% were undecided.

Among the biggest supporters of there being two official languages in Ukraine are residents of Donbas (75%), southern (72%) and eastern regions (53%). However, almost 70% of residents of central and northern Ukraine, as well as almost 90% residents of western Ukraine, do not support such an initiative. Granting Russian the status of official language is most supported by elderly people and least supported by young people, more in towns and cities than in rural areas.

The study notes that the percentage of opponents and supporters of bilingualism in Ukraine has been almost equal over the last two years. However, in 2012 the level of support for granting official status to Russian fell dramatically, especially in the second half of the year.

As for the issue of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (OUN-UPA), a quarter of respondents supported the idea to recognize OUN-UPA as participants in the struggle for Ukraine's independence, and 51% did not support this idea. Some 26% were undecided. Compared with 2010, the percentage of supporters of this idea grew from 20% to 23%, whereas the percentage of opponents shrank from 61 to 51%. The percentage of those undecided on this issue increased.

The survey was conducted from September 25 to October 5, 2012. A total of 2,000 respondents aged over 18 participated in the study. The poll's margin of error does not exceed 2.2% for figures close to 50%, 2% for figures close to 30%, 1.3% for figures close to 10% and 1% for figures close to 5%. 

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