MOSCOW. Dec 30 (Interfax) - Some 68% of Russians regret the disintegration of the Soviet Union. 25% hold the opposite opinion, and 7% found it hard to answer the question, the All-Russia Public Opinion Center told Interfax on Monday, referring to a poll of 1,600 respondents in December.
55% of respondents said the Soviet Union was a voluntary union of free republics.
34% said the Soviet Union retained the essence of the Russian Empire, which subordinated "small peoples" and denied them the right to self-determination. Meanwhile, 75% said the Soviet Union promoted the economic and cultural development of peoples. Every sixth respondent opposed this judgment.
29% of those polled said the disintegration of the Soviet Union was inevitable, but 59% said it could have been avoided. 12% found it difficult to answer the question.
As for the general state of Russia's relations with other CIS member-countries, 48% described these relations as "normal, friendly and neighborly," 35% described them as "cool," and 12% said they are "tense or even hostile."