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Earnings

Quarter of Russians blame U.S. for conflict: poll

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russians blame the United States and Georgia for triggering the conflict in Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia, with just one percent pointing the finger at Moscow, an opinion poll showed on Wednesday.

When asked who was guilty for the conflict in South Ossetia, 54 percent of those polled blamed Georgia and another 22 percent blamed the United States, a survey carried out by Russia’s largest pollsters VTsIOM showed.

A further 12 percent said Russia, South Ossetia and Georgia were jointly responsible for the conflict, it said.

VTsIOM polled 1,594 respondents in 46 regions of Russia between August 10-13, or from the height of the conflict until Wednesday. The margin of error is 3.4 percent.

“There is no significant difference in the views of Russians by age or education. More or less all of society is united on this conflict in South Ossetia,” Olga Kamenchuk, the communications director of VTsIOM, told Reuters.

The conflict was described as a full-scale war by 83 percent of those polled. Eight percent of respondents called it a typical conflict of the volatile Caucasus region.

When asked what policy Russia should take, 57 percent of people said Russia should intervene, try to halt all military activity and urgently start peace negotiations.

A separate poll published on Tuesday by independent pollsters Levada found that almost half of Russians want South Ossetia to be integrated into Russia while a third believe it should be an independent country.

Reporting by Conor Sweeney

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