Over 50% of Russians support air strikes in Syria, poll finds

Over 50% of Russians support air strikes in Syria, poll finds
By Henry Kirby November 20, 2015

Over 50% of Russians support the country’s current military involvement in Syria, while an equal proportion would be in favour of providing direct military assistance to the ruling regime, according to a poll released today by the Levada-Center.

The same poll revealed that 65% of Russians expect Islamic State (IS) to carry out a terrorist attack on Russian soil in the next 12 months. 62% believe that the US will suffer an attack at the hands of IS in the next year, and a massive 77% believe an IS attack will occur in the EU in the same period.

Nearly half of all respondents believe that Russia has involved itself in the Syrian conflict in order to neutralise the threat of Islamic extremists. 32% believe that Russia’s intention is to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The survey noted that many of the respondents were contacted before the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13 took place. This is reflected by the fact that only 22% of respondents regarded the Paris attacks as a memorable event from the past four weeks.

The event that respondents deemed the most memorable was the Russian airliner crash of October 31, which killed all 224 people on board – nearly all of whom were Russian.

57% of respondents believed that the air crash was the result of a terrorist attack, with only a quarter of respondents putting it down to a pilot or technical error.