Press release №2047
27.02.2018
NEW UPSURGE IN SYRIA: RUSSIAN OPINION

IN BRIEF

  • 84% of Russians kept track of the situation in Syria to a varying degree
  • 73% of respondents consider that the Russian Air Force accomplished the goals
  • Syrian crisis is qualified as military actions, fight for power and territory

Russians say that the situation Syria has deteriorated and qualify it as civil war.

MOSCOW, February 27, 2018. The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the results of a study describing the Russian assessments of the situation in Syria.

Most of Russians are interested to know about the situation in Syria (84%), however only 22% keep track of the situation regularly. The general percentage is close to the January 2017 share (87%). Russians often qualify the situation in Syria as “war, military actions” (22%), “U.S. intervention” (8%), or “Russia’s attempt to establish order” (8%). According to 9%, the situation in the region has stabilized; 7% point to fight for power and territory.

The assessment dynamics have deteriorated over half a year: the share of those who report normalization of the situation was 58% in September 2017 and 38% in February 2018. Twenty-five percent see no changes; 17% consider the situation to be tense (an increase from 8%, September 2017).

The assessments of the Russian Air Force actions are still high (73% say Air Force accomplished their goals). Those who share this stance are mainly older respondents (83% of those aged 60+) rather than young Russians (61% among the 18-24-year-olds).

As to Russia’s involvement in the conflict, more than one-third of respondents support the current policy of the Russian government (34%). One-quarter (24%) say that Russia should slow down or act carefully. The share of those who think that Russia should withdraw and the share of those who think that Russia should act more actively in the region are almost similar (11% and 14% respectively).

Mentions of the Syria news in the Russian media from January 2015 to February 2018 were analyzed by Medialogia Company. Over this period Syria was mentioned 3,230,000 times. Most of mentions date to October 2015 (a visit of the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to Moscow and negotiations with the Russian president Vladimir Putin; V. Putin highly assessed the Russian air force operation in Syria).  

The VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on February 20-21, 2018. The survey involved 2,000 Russians aged 18 and over, and was carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. 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 2.2%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

The 2015-2016 results are based on household surveys.

The Russian media monitoring and analysis is carried out by the Medialogia Company using the Medialogia database of 43,500 sources such as television, radio, newspaper, magazines information agencies and online media. The period of study was January 1, 2015 February 25, 2018. Data were calculated on 26.02.2018.

Are you personally interested to know about the situation in Syria? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  X. 2015 XI. 2015 III.2016 VI.2016 X.2016 I.2017 IV.2017 IX.2017 II.2018
I follow the situation regularly and attentively 22 20 22 18 21 29 22 23 22
Occasionally, not regularly  46 49 53 42 46 58 60 56 62
Not interested at all 31 31 24 40 32 13 18 21 15
Don’t know 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Can you describe in two or three words what is currently happening in Syria?  (open-ended question , not more than three answers, %)
  Total respondents, February 2018
War/military actions 22
Situation stabilization; life got better; truce 9
U.S. intervention; they do not let us establish order 8
Russia' s participation; we try to establish order;  we have bases there 8
Fight for power: territory, influence, oil, countries' intervention 7
Mess, lawlessness, chaos 4
Our troops destroyed ISIL, established order, withdrew part of troops; the war is over 4
Anti-terrorism fight, fight against ISIL 4
Everything is bad 4
Our people/soldiers are killed   3
People are dying, civilians are suffering 3
Russian humanitarian help 3
Turks are fighting Kurds; Turkey' s participation in the conflict 2
Russia-US confrontation  2
Pilot' s death 2
Right actions of Russia and Putin 2
Killing of  "Wagner”;  Americans kill Russians 1
We do not need to participate in the conflict; Russia should not intervene    1
Russia' s promotion; Russia defending its interests 1
Everything is OK 0
Other 2
Don't know 35
In your opinion, in what direction has the situation in Syria been evolving lately?  (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  III.2016 VII.2016 X.2016 IV.2017 IX.2017 II.2018
The relations are being normalized 48 27 15 39 58 38
The relations are not getting either better or worse; nothing is changing  much 27 34 33 31 22 25
The relations are getting more tense, deteriorating 11 13 34 21 8 17
Don't know 14 26 18 9 12 19
In your opinion, have the Russian Aerospace Forces accomplished their mission in Syria?  (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents, September 2017 Total respondent, February 2018 Aged  18-24 Aged  25-34 Aged  35-44 Aged  45-59 Aged  60 and more
Definitely yes 37 37 16 25 34 43 47
Rather yes 41 36 45 34 33 36 36
Rather not 5 4 8 6 4 3 3
Definitely not 3 3 1 4 3 2 1
Don't know 14 21 30 31 25 15 13
In your opinion, what policy regarding Russia's participation in the Syrian crisis should the Russian government follow? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  November 2015 March 2016 October 2016 February 2018
Russia should take active part  in the Syrian conflict   15 16 16 14
Russia should act the same way as now 38 35 32 34
Russia should slow down and be more careful 22 24 21 24
Russia should withdraw from Syria   13 12 14 11
Don't know 12 13 17 17

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!

Photo: Depositphotos.com, radekprocyk

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