(to) hear pro-Russian activists tell it

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mycityofsky

Senior Member
Mandarin
From NPR(American audio):
To hear pro-Russian activists tell it, they are all set to hold Sunday's referendum on independence from Ukraine, even though the Kiev government and its western allies continue to denounce it as illegal.
I am curious about why the reporter uses "to" in the first sentence. Normally when I use "to", I would refer to a objective. Such as "To win the game, I practice every day." But I guess, "to" in here is not referred to an objective, because the reporter had heard the news. So how to explain the word here?

And in case any mistake of my understanding, does the first sentence mean "pro-Russion activists told the reporter about it, ..."?

Thanks a lot. :)

SOURCE: On Victory Day, Fanfare In Crimea And Turmoil In Eastern Ukraine
 
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  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    You interpretation is correct. Another way of writing it might be According to what pro-Russians say.

    The construction is similar to "To quote from Confucius, Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it."
     

    mycityofsky

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thank you for your remarks, e2efour, Keith Bradford. The construction is a little weird to me still. But I've decided just to memorize it. :)
     
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