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Quarter of Russians do not quite approve operation in Syria after loss of Sukhoi-24 — poll

December 04, 2015, 13:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 4. /TASS/. In defiance of the latest events, including the loss of a Sukhoi-24 frontline bomber in Syria, shot down by the Turkish Air Force, Russians still support the country’s leadership, which is pushing ahead with the air operation against the terrorists, the national public opinion studies centre VTsIOM, has found.

"Just as several days before the incident, the majority backs the authorities’ policy (the latest poll showed 62% support), including 27% of those who would like to see more active steps along the same lines," VTsIOM said. Men share this view more often than women (73% against 54%).

Twenty five percent do not quite approve of the current policies (including 16% who believe it is necessary to downgrade the operation and 11% who believe Russia should curtail its involvement in the Syrian conflict altogether).

"The incident with the Russian warplane (Sukhoi-24 frontline bomber was downed by a Turkish fighter on November 24) has drawn extensive response from Russian society: an absolute majority of Russians (96%) know about it," VTsIOM said.

A quarter of respondents (24%) believe that Turkey’s attack against the Russian plane may cause a worsening in Russian-Turkish relations. One in ten (9%) believes that a war between the two countries is possible. Six percent mentioned the possibility the border may be closed and 3% foresee a surge in the prices of clothes and foods (3%). In the meantime, 14% anticipate no tangible changes in the country’s life. Those who find it difficult to foresee the consequences of the latest incident are many (43%).

Asked ‘What in our opinion should Russia do in response to Turkey’s actions?’ 16% said that Russia must take economic sanctions and 10% would like to see harsh retaliation that would teach all a lesson. Six percent are prepared for the severing of all relations with Turkey and border closure. Five percent fully support the Russian leadership’s current policy towards Turkey and just 1% of the polled believe that the Russian authorities should ignore the latest incident and take no measures in response.

The VTsIOM poll was held on November 28-29, 2015. An audience of 1,600 men and women of age in 46 regions, territories and republics of Russia were questioned. The statistical error margin was no greater than 3.5%.

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