There's an affinity between eastern Ukrainians and Russians. It's Ukraine that's divided
The new KMIS [Kiev International Institute of Sociology] poll shows a split among Ukrainians in their attitudes towards Russia and a regional divide on this issue.
Forty two percent of the residents of Ukraine express positive views of Russia compared to 43% expressing negative views.
Majorities in the East and the South have favorable attitudes to Russia. In contrast, a majority in the West expresses negative views of Russia, and the Center is split on this question.
The views towards Russia in Ukraine and towards Ukraine in Russia improved somewhat compared to 2015.
The Russian leadership is viewed positively by 8% of Ukrainians and Russian people by 67% of Ukrainians. If Crimea and separatist-controlled Donbas, the most pro-Russian regions, were included in the poll, Russia-friendly attitudes would prevail in Ukraine.
The KMIS poll is another evidence that regional political values or cultures in terms of pro-Russian or anti-Russian orientation have not changed radically in Ukraine in spite of the Russian annexation of Crimea, the direct and indirect military interventions by Russia in support of separatists in Donbas, and the massive government and media propaganda presenting the war in Donbas as a war between Russia and Ukraine.
The same concerns attitudes of Russians towards Ukraine in the Levada Center poll.