By the time of the occupation of Crimea, only 20% of Crimeans expressed the desire for Ukraine and Russia to unite in one country, which is evidenced by the results of a study conducted by Ukrainian sociologists in the Crimea from 1993 to 2013.
"By the year 2000, the number of people willing to unite with Russia has increased to 65%. But this rate had been constantly falling down since then, and in 2012-2013 it was just over 20%. This indicates that the annexation of the Crimea had happened not due to the desire of the inhabitants of the peninsula, to which Russia appeals, but exclusively as a result of a special operation," Anton Grushetskyi, deputy director of the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology stated at a conference held in Kyiv.
Reportedly, according to the research, the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation contributed to a sharp increase in the level of support for Ukraine's independence by the country's population. Anton Grushetskyi noted that the level of support for Ukraine's independence following great support at the referendum in 1991 began to fall precipitously, as poverty level has increased and a period of frustration set in. However, after the outbreak of the war in Chechnya, the support for Ukraine's independence has increased to 80%. A sharp increase - up to 90% - occurred following the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014.