Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin infuriated Ukrainian separatists again. The scandal broke out after Putin quoted Russia’s renowned general Anton Denikin when the Prime Minister was laying flowers on his grave on Sunday.
“He has ideas about Big Russia and Little Russia, about Ukraine. He said that no one should be allowed to interfere in the relations between the two states, that it was always the matter of Russia only. It is a crime if someone speaks about the separation of Russia and Ukraine, even when foreigners speak about it,” Putin said in journalists’ presence.
Ukrainian politicians perceived the statement as another manifestation of Russia’s disrespect of Ukraine’s independence. A year ago, Putin stated at NATO summit that Russia had given Ukraine several parts of its territory.
“In other words, Putin hopes to settle his scores with Ukraine without the participation of Ukraine. Like he said, it has always been the matter of Russia only,” Ukrainian media said.
The diplomatic relations between Russia and Ukraine have been quite intense recently. However, most Ukrainians view Russia as Ukraine’s friendly state. Moreover, most of them say that they like Putin as a politician. A recent opinion poll showed that many Ukrainians support the union of their nation with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Research & Branding Group said that most of Ukrainian respondents – 58 percent - set out their positive attitude to Putin. Sixteen percent of the polled said that they treated him negatively. The Ukrainians also sympathize with the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko – 56 percent - and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev – 55 percent. Forty-five percent of the polled set out their negative attitude to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.
As for foreign leaders, the Ukrainians expressed their sympathies to US President Barack Obama – 31 percent, German Chancellor Angela Merkel – 29 percent and French President Nicolas Sarkozy – 22 percent.