OREANDA-NEWSMore than half of Russians want to complete the operation of Russia in Syria, a survey by the Levada Center showed. About a third of respondents see risks of conflict escalating into a “new Afghanistan”. Russia should stop the military operation in Syria, 55% of Russians believe, according to the survey (RBC has the results) of the Levada Center. Only 30% of respondents were in favor of continuing the operation. In August 2017, 49% of respondents favored completion.

The transformation of Syria into a “new Afghanistan” for Russia is feared by 37% of the respondents (in August 2017, 32% thought so). At the same time, 50% consider such a scenario unlikely. More than a third of Russians (35%) do not approve of Russia's state policy towards Syria. The opposite opinion is held by 53% of respondents. The sociologists conducted an April survey among 1,625 people in 137 localities in 50 regions using a personal interview. The Levada Center records a sharp decline in the interest of Russians to events in Syria - from 86 to 61% per year. This April, only 13% are closely watching developments in the Middle Eastern state and 48% know little about them.

Denis Volkov, deputy director of the Levada Center, connects the decline in interest in Syria with the end of the active phase of the operation and the decrease in the number of news about it. Orientalist Gumer Isaev agrees that the decline in interest in Syria is associated with a decrease in the news background. “Compared to last year, when there were active hostilities, now the situation there is more or less calm, despite the impending fuel crisis,” he said. According to Isayev, traditionally the war in the Middle East is perceived by Russians negatively because of the historical memory of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Chechnya.