Saturday, October 14, 2017

Almost a Third of Russians Want Putin to End War in Syria, Many Because Russians are Dying There

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 13 – Although 54 percent of Russians tell VTsIOM that they back the Kremlin’s policy of continuing the war in Syria, 34 percent say they are against doing so, with 24 percent of the latter pointing to Russian combat losses as justification for their position and another 15 percent saying that Moscow has many problems at home it should be addressing.

            Not surprisingly, Russian outlets have played up Russian support for Vladimir Putin’s policies in Syria and played down opposition – see, for example, and -- but both the share willing to say they oppose and their reasons suggest public support for Putin’s war is softening.

            And in yet another possible sign of a shift in Russian opinion about the Kremlin leader’s foreign military adventures, nearly one in five of the entire sample – 19 percent – told the polling agency that there was no need to provide support to Syria and its government after the end of the war.

            That was just one of the poll results released this past week that provide insights into where Russians now are and where they are headed. Among the more interesting findings of these other polls were the following:

·         Russian trust in the Moscow Patriarchate is declining and backing for the security agencies and the military is increasing ( and,

·         Russians have a relatively positive view of the Bolsheviks but do not want a new revolution ( and,

·         Ever more Russians are concerned about the growing gap between rich and poor ( and, and

·         Russian university students heavily back Putin, the only president they have ever known (

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