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Every fourth Russian assesses results of Russian operation in Syria as positive — poll

March 18, 2016, 15:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Among those following the situation on a permanent basis this share reaches 65%

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© Vadim Grishankin/Russian Defence Ministry Press and Information Office/TASS

MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. More than 70% of Russians are closely following the situation in Syria, 65% of them say the consequences of Russia’s actions are positive, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) ahead of the beginning of the pullout of the bulk of Russia’s aviation group from Syria.

"The situation in Syria continues to be a topical issue, with 73% of Russians closely following developments in this country [including 23% - on a permanent basis and 50% - from time to time]. By comparison, in October and November 2015 68-69% were interested in the situation in Syria. Those who are not interested in this issue at all make up 25%," indicate the results of the poll posted on the pollster’s website on Friday.

"Every four out of ten respondents [40%] describe the effects of the Russian aviation group’s actions as positive [among those who are following the situation on a permanent basis this share reaches 65%]. Half as many (21%) say they were detrimental to the country’s interests, and 23% believe that they have not affected the state of affairs in our country," the document says.

According to 48% of the respondents, the armed conflict in the region is fading away, and the situation is returning back to normal. The opposite opinion is held by only 11%. Every fourth person polled (27%) did not notice any significant changes.

The majority of Russians support the decision to dispatch the Russian Aerospace Forces to Syria to fight with terrorists. In October 2015 this move was supported by 66% of those polled and in March 2016 - by 70%. Among those who agree with this decision are mostly men (80%) and respondents with high income (77%).

"No doubt, developments in Syria have proved to be most widely discussed events for Russians, and interest in them has intensified in recent months. This stems not only from media coverage but also from the fact that the Russian military’s actions were in no small degree successful. Almost half of those polled said the situation is returning back to normal. Under the circumstances, our fellow countrymen felt Russia’s involvement in the Syrian should be diminished. That means that the president’s decision on reducing the Russian military contingent in Syria meets the expectations of the bulk of the population," head of VTsIOM’s research projects department Mikhail Mamonov said commenting on the results of the survey.

The VTsIOM survey was held on March 12-13, 2016, with 1,600 persons polled in 46 regions of Russia. The margin of error did not exceed 3.5%.

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