Voices from Russia

Friday, 24 July 2015

“Forbes” Outs the Shocking Truth about the Crimea and the Ukraine

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Forbes entitled its article ”A Year After the Russian Annexation of the Crimea, Locals Prefer Moscow to Kiev”. In fact, Forbes based its piece primarily on two studies by authoritative western polling agencies… the American Gallup and German GFK. The latter, incidentally, is the largest German polling outfit, being amongst the four leading polling “gurus” around the world. Therefore, I think there isn’t any reason for even the most biased Westerners to question the results of their research. After analysing the survey results, journalist Kenneth Raposa came to a shocking conclusion for a Westerner on the attitudes of Crimeans to the current situation, ” The locals… whether Ukrainians, Russians, or ethnic Tatars… are unanimous on one thing… life in Russia is better than life in the Ukraine”. He reminded his readers about a study conducted by Gallup in cooperation with the Supervisory Board for International Broadcasting in 2014 in the Crimea. At that time, almost 83 percent of Crimeans said that the results of the March referendum really reflected their wishes and aspirations. Almost 74 percent of respondents were confident that reunification with Russia would have a positive impact on their quality of life, only 5.5 percent thought the opposite…

Therefore, in January-February 2015, after the first year of reunification, GFK decided to poll the Crimean people for their attitudes on it. For a western organisation, their results were simply sensational. They reported that 82 percent of Crimeans unambiguously approved reunification of the Crimea with Russia. Another 11% favoured for the most part. That is, 93 percent of Crimeans were positive about the results of the March 2014 referendum! Only 2 percent were against reunification. Kenneth Raposa concluded that these two studies by prestigious Western institutions strongly suggest that the outcome of the referendum in 2014 completely reflected the factual situation. Only 1 percent of Crimeans believe that the Ukrainian media gives objective information about happenings in the Crimea. Another 4 percent said that the Ukrainian media is “more objective”. On the other hand, 45 percent of Crimeans believe that the Ukrainian media purveys falsehoods, and another 35 percent stated that it’s more false than true. Raposa pointed up that the GFK survey didn’t indicate how people came to their conclusions.

Only 13 percent of Crimeans believed that their financial situation deteriorated over the last year (do recall the Ukrainian horror stories about the “starving” Crimea). Opposed to that, 21 percent believed that their financial situation improved significantly, 30 percent think it got better, and 35 percent said that their financial situation remained somewhere near last year’s level. For comparison, in the Ukraine at the same time, Ukrainian pollsters found that 94 percent of respondents reported a sharp deterioration in their standard of living! The top issue that concerned Crimeans was the war in Novorossiya (42 percent), followed by inflation (40 percent), transport blockade of the Crimea (22 percent), and personal financial problems (19 percent).

Raposa “hammered” Ukrainian nationalists and American fans of intervention in other peoples’ affairs. He noted that Crimean society is united and unanimous in agreement on the existing course of affairs, but one can’t even think of unity in the Ukraine. He said that, according to western polling institutions, there is a severe schism in Ukrainian society that objectively threatens the Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Only 19 percent in the so-called “Eastern Ukraine” and only 26 percent in the so-called “Southern Ukraine” support EU integration. (as it is very different from those Ukrainian “sociologist”!), on the other hand, 84 percent in the Western Ukraine, 60 percent in Northern oblasts, and about half of those in Central oblasts support that policy. Support for Ukrainian accession to NATO is even lower than support for EU membership in the so-called “Southeast”. Even in the Western Ukraine, only 53 favour NATO membership. The support for European integration in various Ukrainian regions coincides with their support of the USA and their role in the events of 2013-14.

Forbes is one of the most respected publications in the world, reflecting the opinion of a large part of the Western élite. Raposa’s article is a kind of surrender of the part of that élite to reality… Crimea became Russian in the first place because its people wanted it that way. Yes, the “Euro-Atlantic” choice of the Ukraine… that’s “not set in stone”. Meanwhile, the Ukraine forges a contrived reality, purposed to manipulate and maintain the martial spirit of the ultra-right. Almost all major Ukrainian media outlets completely ignored the GFK and Gallup poll results, indeed, most major Ukrainian publications shouted the strident headline, Most Crimeans Want to Return to the Ukraine. The source of this tawdry fluff was a yellow tabloid, Крым: Реалии (Krym: Realy/Crimea: Realities). In it, we can admire quite original news. Despite the sensational headline and text, the author conceded that there’s no basis for it in sociological research, they claimed that it came from an “online survey” allegedly carried out by the online edition of the reputable newspaper edition of Крымская Правда (Krymskaya Pravda: Crimean Pravda).

It was ridiculously easy to find the underlying cause of this one. Krymskaya Pravda itself said that Ukrainian hackers attacked their website . It effectively blocked them; the Ukrainian hackers actually were quite derisive (their famous informational troops?) in their attempt to force the site to show the “right” results for the survey. If the real attitudes and the real results of opinion polls don’t match what the Kiev junta wants to see, well, they can just hack the site. Then, they can force the media to publish it “voluntarily”. This situation highlights how one must take any information published by Ukrainian “journalists”. The most disgusting thing about this is that people from the Northern and Western Ukraine tend to lack “living” contacts with the Crimea, so, they believe this rubbish to the point that many are even willing to go to “beat” the Crimea [back into the Ukraine] by force of arms.

In general, an article in Forbes is a very positive sign; it says that sensible elements in Western society are trying to beat back the “hawks”, who live in a fantasy world. It’ll be some time before good-sense wins the day, but it looks like the end is coming for evil and misfortune…

24 July 2015






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