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Most Russians Think Western Powers Caused Ukraine Crisis

U.S. Consulate General Munich / FlickrU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd R) meets with Ukrainian opposition leaders February 1, 2014..

The majority of Russians think that the Ukraine crisis was caused by Western "interference" and believe that their country should continue supporting pro-Moscow separatists even if it could lead to a full-fledged civil war or even World War III, a poll showed.

Some 64 percent of Russians believe that the violence in Ukraine was a "result of interference by the West," while another 20 percent blamed the "nationalist policy of the Ukrainian leadership," according to a survey by the independent Levada Center pollster, cited on Tuesday by Interfax.

Among the possible outcomes of the conflict, a protracted civil war was seen as likely by 82 percent of respondents, a Russian-Ukrainian war by 62 percent, and a third world war by 52 percent, the poll indicated.

Still, 55 percent of respondents said Moscow should continue supporting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, while another 22 percent disagreed, the report said.

The poll was conducted on July 18-21 among 1,600 people in 46 Russian regions. The report did not provide a margin of error, but Levada Center polls usually give a margin of error of no more than 3.4 percentage points.

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