DONETSK - A strong majority of Ukrainians want their country to remain a single, unified state and this is true even in the largely Russian-speaking east where a pro-Russia insurgency has been fighting for autonomy, a poll released Thursday shows.
The survey results were released as the pro-Russia forces were considering whether to go ahead with a referendum on autonomy planned for Sunday in defiance of a call from Russian President Vladimir Putin to delay the vote. A decision was expected later in the day.
The organizers have said the referendum was on whether to give the eastern regions more autonomy within Ukraine, but they have left open the possibility of using it to seek independence or annexation by Russia. Many fear that such a vote could be a flashpoint for further violence between Ukrainian troops and the militants who have seized government buildings in about a dozen cities in the east. (AP)