The two surveys were conducted before pro-Russian troops seized control of Crimea. The Ukrainian poll was fielded February 8-18 by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, together with the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, and the Russian poll was conducted February 21-25 by the Levada Center. The reported margin of error for the Democratic Initiatives survey is 2.2%, compared with 3.4% for the Levada survey.
Clear majorities in Ukraine (68%) and Russia (59%) favor open borders between the countries. In Ukraine, this is the prevailing view not only in regions where Russian-speakers predominate, such as the East (72%) and South (64%), but in regions overwhelmingly populated by ethnic Ukrainians, such as the West (67%). Even among Ukrainians who want to join the EU, a 63%-majority back the free movement of goods and people between Ukraine and Russia.
At least in the days leading up to Viktor Yanukovych’s removal from office, events in Ukraine had yet to boost enthusiasm for a single Ukrainian-Russian state. In both countries, support for a unified state has remained relatively flat over the past six years. In 2008, 20% of Ukrainians backed such a move, compared with 12% today. In Russia, attitudes have changed even less: in 2008, 19% backed reunification vs. 16% today.