Press release №1948
19.04.2017
CHEMICAL ATTACK IN SYRIA: FIRST ASSESSMENTS

IN BRIEF

  • 37% of Russians think that the chemical attacks were organized by the ISIL.

Only 4% of respondents think that the chemical attack in Syria was carried out by the Assad’s forces, according to the VCIOM-Sputnik daily omnibus surveys.  

MOSCOW, April 19, 2017. The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the results of a survey describing how Russians perceive the news about new chemical weapons attack in Syria.

The April reports about the use of chemical weapons and casualties in Syria drew a wide public response in Russia: 85% of Russians were aware about that during the interviews.

According to the VCIOM-Sputnik survey data, approximately half of Russians (46%) tend to believe in a chemical attack version and blame the ISIL for this attack (37%); fewer respondents point to Assad’s forces (4%) or Syrian opposition (5%). Seventeen per cent of Russians oppose them saying that there was no any chemical attack at all.  

Fifty-four per cent of Russians consider that if it is revealed that the attack was carried out by the Assad’s forces, Russia should not support Syrian President Assad; they are opposed by 26%; a further 20% did not provide an answer.

The VCIOM-Sputnik Russian nationwide survey was conducted on April 11-12, 2017, using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia, and involved 1200 respondents. Russians aged 18 and over took part in the survey. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 3.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

International media report that a week ago a chemical attack hit a Syrian city. More than 50 people were killed, including 10 children. Did you personally hear about that; or is that the first time you hear about that?  (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents  Aged  18-24 Aged  25-34 Aged  35-44 Aged  45-59 Aged  60 and more
I am well aware of that 34 15 20 30 42 46
I heard something but I do not know any details 51 63 52 49 50 49
This is the first time I hear about that 14 21 27 21 8 4
Don’t know 1 1 1 0 0 1
Some people say that there are no chemical weapons in Syria, and even if any, it could hardly be employed. Others say that there are chemical weapons in Syria, and it could be employed by the Assad’s forces, Syrian opposition or the ISIL forces. In your opinion, was there any chemical attack in Syria? And if there was any attack, who employed chemical weapons? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents Those who use the Internet almost every day Those who use the Internet  several time a week/ a month Those who use the Internet occasionally or never use it
There was no chemical attack 17 16 18 18
The chemical attack was carried out by Bashar al-Assad’s forces 4 5 2 2
The chemical attack was carried out by the Syrian opposition 5 5 7 6
The chemical attack was carried out by the ISIL 37 37 33 42
Other 10 11 9 8
Don’t know 27 26 31 24
If it becomes clear that the chemical attack was carried out by Assad, should Russia further support Syrian President Assad, or not? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents A Just Russia party Supporters of LDPR Supporters of CPRF Supporters of United Russia party Supporters of non-parliamentary parties
Russia should support Assad 26 31 37 31 24 18
Russia should not support Assad 54 58 50 50 55 67
Don’t know 20 11 13 19 21 15

Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory!

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