A new poll shows that the vast majority of Ukrainians feel that no outside country has a right to be involved in decisions about their country's future.
The U.S.-based Gallup poll
said its April survey of 1,400 Ukrainians, outside of the Crimean peninsula annexed the month before by Russia, showed 78 percent opposed to outside interference.
The independent poll was funded by the U.S. government's Broadcasting Board of Governors, which operates Voice of America.
The survey depicted a wide divergence of opinion in Ukraine
, largely defined by geography, as well as Ukrainian and Russian ethnicity.
The poll showed broader support for the 28-nation European Union and the United States in western Ukraine, with diminishing identity with the West in the eastern reaches of the country, where pro-Russian separatists have engaged in armed clashes with Kyiv's security forces.
More than 84 percent of those polled in western Ukraine said the country should join the EU, but only 19 percent in eastern Ukraine want EU membership. Across Ukraine, a majority of ethnic Ukrainians support EU membership, but only one in five ethnic Russians do, and a plurality of Ukrainians oppose membership in the NATO alliance.
Gallup also polled 500 people in Crimea, and found that nearly 74 percent said that becoming part of Russia "will make life better" for them. The vast majority of the Crimeans surveyed, including ethnic Ukrainians living on the peninsula, said they think the March 16 referendum to secede from Ukraine and join Russia accurately reflected the views of the territory's population.
In contrast, a plurality of people in the remainder of Ukraine (48 percent) said the referendum was not reflective of Crimean views on joining Russia.
In Crimea, Gallup found that people broadly think Russia played a positive role during the crisis that led to Moscow's annexation of the Ukrainian territory, with sharply negative views of the roles played by the United States and the EU.
The International Monetary Fund and Western nations have pledged billions of dollars in aid and loans to help Kyiv fix the country's moribund economy. But the survey showed Ukrainians outside Crimea split equally on the question of whether they would support economic reforms if it meant they would have a diminished living standard for a year or two.