Published: Jan. 22, 2015

It is well known that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine, annexing Crimea in March 2004, and sponsoring rebels thereafter in eastern Ukraine, generated high levels of support for him in Russia in 2014. But how popular is Putin in contested Ukraine, namely in Crimea and the southeast swath of territory he described in a talk show in April 2014 as “Novorossiya”? The nearest modern equivalent to this contested historical region is a semi-circle of territory comprising eight of Ukraine’s 24 oblasts in the south and east of the country: Odessa, Mykoliav, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Kharkiv and the two oblasts racked by fighting since April, Donetsk and Luhansk.

Read entire Washington Post article by Gerard Toal and John O'Loughlin