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MOSCOW, December 5. /TASS/. The vast majority of Russians support border guards’ actions in the Kerch Strait, where Ukrainian navy ships were detained for violating the Russian border, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center said in a statement on Wednesday.

As many as 93% of those surveyed said that border guards had done the right thing, and 79% said the incident was a result of a provocation planned by the Ukrainian authorities.

A total of 30% of the poll’s participants believe that Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s desire to remain in power was the reason behind the provocation. One in five said that the provocation was aimed at starting a war between Russia and Ukraine, while 17% think the goal was to create another excuse for accusing Russia of aggression.

However, the poll’s participants expect Russia and Ukraine to either restore friendly ties in the future (43%) or at least normalize relations (34%). At the same time, 16% said that relations between the two counties would continue to deteriorate.

“People’s views on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, shaped quite a while ago, have remained unchanged no matter how the economic and social situation develops,” All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center Director General Valery Fyodorov said, commenting on the poll’s outcome.

The nationwide poll involving 1,600 people over the age of 18 was conducted on November 27.

Kerch Strait incident

On November 25, three Ukrainian navy ships illegally crossed Russia’s border and tried to carry out some illegal actions in Russian territorial waters later in the day. They ignored legitimate demands to stop issued by vessels belonging to the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet and continued maneuvering dangerously. In order to stop the Ukrainian ships, weapons had to be used. The three vessels were detained in Russian territorial waters. Three Ukrainian military servicemen suffered light wounds and were provided with medical assistance. A criminal investigation has been opened into the border incident.

Moscow branded Kiev’s stunt in the Kerch Strait as a dangerous provocation, while the European Union and NATO called for a de-escalation of tensions, while Kiev declared a 30-day martial law.

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