Slightly less than half the respondents in Russia say they have positive attitude towards Georgia and 49% say recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia brought neither benefit nor harm to Russia, according to a survey by Russian polling agency Levada Center.
The survey of 1,601 respondents in 45 regions of Russia, which was released on Wednesday on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the August war, was fielded on July 18-22 and has a margin of error plus, minus 3.4%.
On a question what’s your attitude towards Georgia, 48% responded either very positive or mainly positive – a slight increase from last July’s similar poll by the same pollster and a 32 percentage point increase from a similar poll carried out in September, 2008. The figure stood at 42% two years before the August 2008 war.
On the same question 40% responded their attitude towards Georgia was either very negative or mainly negative – statistically the same to July, 2012 poll; the figure stood at 51% in September 2008.
20% of respondents think Russia benefited from recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia, down from 28% and 40% in July 2012 and September 2008, respectively. 11% think it did harm to Russia – the figure stood at 15% in September 2008.
49% think the move brought neither benefit nor any harm to Russia – the same as in last July’s poll; the figure stood at 28% in September 2008 and at 40% in July 2009.
9% of respondents said Abkhazia should be part of Georgia; 30% - part of Russia and 42% said it should be an independent state. Figures were statistically similar on the same question in respect of South Ossetia.
In a public opinion survey carried out in Georgia in June by CRRC for the U.S. National Democratic Institute (NDI), 37% of respondents believe that Russia is “a real and existing threat to Georgia” – an increase from 26% in a similar poll in March 2013. Number of those, who believe that this threat is “exaggerated”, decreased from 42% in March to 34% in June. 20% of respondents said Russia “is no threat to Georgia at all.”