Public support for Russia’s military operation in Syria has increased from 34 to 39 percent despite the fact that almost half of respondents see the situation in the Middle Eastern country as “noticeably deteriorating.”

In a public opinion poll conducted by the state-run agency VTSIOM in mid-April, 88 percent of Russians told researchers that they were interested in the current situation in Syria, with 39 percent saying they did their best to receive regular news updates on the situation.

When researchers asked Russians about their attitude to their Air Force’s counter-terrorist operation in the Syrian Republic, 39 percent said that they supported it – up from 34 percent in mid-February. A total of 17 percent said that would prefer more active policies, which also represents an increase from 14 percent a month ago. The proportion of those who think that Russia should withdraw from Syria has fallen from 11 to 9 percent over the same period.

66 percent of respondents said that, in their opinion, Russia should continue to support President Bashar Assad – even in the case of a direct attack of the United States. Some 22 percent think that Russian forces in Syria should simply be more cautious in their actions.

Meanwhile, the proportion of those who think that the situation in Syria is deteriorating surged from 17 percent in February to 43 percent in mid-April.

The largest proportion of the Russian respondents – 33 percent – think that their country’s input in Syria would lead to changes for the better. A further 30 percent consider that the consequences of the operation will be negative.

A separate poll conducted by VTSIOM last October showed that 73 percent of Russians believed that their country should continue helping Syria after the armed conflict there is over. An even larger share of respondents – 75 percent – said they would like to see Russia continue sending humanitarian aid to Syria.

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