Summary and translation by New Cold War.org, March 1, 2015
Socio-political mood of the people of Crimea, published in Russian by GFK (German polling firm), Feb. 4, 2015
The German market and consumer information firm GFK has published a 31-page survey of Crimean residents that was commissioned by three agencies: Barta Communications, Project for a Free Crimea, and the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (an agency of the Government of Canada). The survey spoke to 800 residents of Crimea of all ages 18 years and over. Surveying was conducted by telephone from Ukraine between January 16 and 22, 2015. The results are published in Russian here.
Much of the study is devoted to analyzing how Crimeans obtain their news and information, including their attitudes to Ukrainian news sources. See highlihghts of those results further below. Here are some of the published results (translated by New Cold War.org):
Attitude to Crimea seceding from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation: (page 7)
Fully endorse 82%
Mostly endorse 11%
The top issues that concern Crimean people: (page 5)
The armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine 42%
Inflation, rising prices, unstable exchange rates 40%
Transport isolation of Crimea 22%
Lack of money to live a normal life and not go into debt 19%
Low levels of health care 13%
International sanctions affecting life in Crimea 9%
Corruption and bribery of elected officials 8%
Shortages, reducing the choice of food and other goods 5%
Indifference of the authorities to the problems of ordinary citizens 5%
Confusion over property rights 4%
Crisis of governance, lack of order in the peninsula 3%
Crime, poor performance of law enforcement agencies 2%
None of the above 7%
Change in financial status during the past year: (page 12)
Significantly improved: 21%
Remained the same: 35%
Here is a summary of the GFK report’s findings on Crimeans’ attitudes and practices regarding media:
- A majority of Crimeans watch Russian TV (85% – at least once a week), however only 10 % trust it. The most trusted source of information are social media (29%), followed by Crimean web-sites (11%).
- Crimeans of age 56 and older watch more Russian TV channels more ofter than Crimean ones.
- Younger people (18-35 years old) and middle-age persons ( 36-55) trust most the social media, while older people trust Crimean radio, press and TV. Among younger people, social media accounts for nearly one half of their trusted media sources.
- 51% of Crimeans read both Ukrainian and Russian mass media.
- The most popular Ukrainian TV channel in Crimea is Inter; among Russian TV channels, Rossiya 24.
- Crimeans do not read the Ukrainian press and do not listen to Ukrainian radio.
- Among Ukrainian news websites the most popular is Ukr.net; among Russian ones, Mail.ru. Among local websites, the most popular is the Crimean news service Krymskaya sluzhba novostei.
- Among social media, the most popular is Vkontakte; the second most popular is Odnoklassniki (Classmates).
- Almost half of Crimeans (45 %) believe that Ukrainian mass media relay an absolutely false information about Crimea, while 35% believe that this information is more often false than true.
- More than half of Crimeans are receptive to reading/watching Ukrainian mass media devoted to life in Crimea if that mass media delivered truthful and quality information
One of the few Western media outlets to acknowledge the existence of the GFK survey and its uncomfortable results was Bloombeg News. The pro-Ukraine author of the article wrote, “Taken together, these answers suggest that a majority of Crimeans see Ukraine as a poor and unstable country where the media are hostile toward them. That’s largely an accurate assessment that has nothing to do with fear or brainwashing from Moscow.”
On March 16, 2014, Crimeans voted in a referendum on their political future. The referendum was organized by the government of the Autonomous Region of Crimea, the only such regional, autonomous entity in Ukraine, formed in 1994. Eighty three per cent of Crimean adult residents cast a ballot and 97 per cent voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.
Another survey showing Crimeans content with the break from Ukraine, March 6, 2015