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Former Soviet countries see more harm than good from breakup

PRINCETON, N.J., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Residents in most of countries once part of the Soviet Union say the breakup more likely hurt their countries, not benefited them, a Gallup poll indicated.

Of the 11 countries that resulted from the collapse 22 years ago, only Azerbaijanis, Kazakhstanis and Turkmens said they were more likely to see benefits, results of the poll released Thursday indicated. Georgians were divided.

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Overall, 51 percent of residents of the former Soviet republics said the collapse of the Soviet Union hurt their countries while 24 percent said it benefited their countries, results indicated.

Adults 15 to 44 were nearly three times as likely as those 65 years and older to say the breakup benefited their countries, results indicated. Older residents in all 11 countries were more likely to say the breakup harmed their countries.

Overall, residents who are more educated are less likely to say the collapse harmed their country and more likely to say it benefited them, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.

Thirty percent of residents who say children in their country have the opportunity to learn and grow say their country benefited, while 18 percent expressed the opposite view.

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Results are based on face-to-face interviews with at least 1,000 adults conducted from June to August in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine. The margin of error ranges from 2.7 percentage points to 3.8 percentage points.

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