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Fewer Than Half of Russians Support Syria Campaign, Poll Says

The share of Russians who support President Vladimir Putin’s military intervention in Syria has dropped from more than half to less than half since August 2017, according to an independent Levada Center survey.

Russia launched air strikes in Syria in 2015, helping regime forces take back most of the country in the eight-year-long civil war. Moscow, which has since become an influential actor in the Middle East, now pushes for a political process involving talks on a new constitution and elections as a way to end the conflict.

Fifty-five percent of Russian respondents say their country should end its military campaign in Syria, up from 49 percent in August 2017, according to a poll published by Levada on Monday.

The share of respondents who want the conflict to go on has stayed at 30 percent in that same period.

Russians are also losing interest in the more than three-year intervention: Those saying they pay close attention to or “know a little bit” about the latest events in Syria account for the lowest margins (13 percent and 48 percent, respectively) since Russia began the air campaign there.

At the same time, the share of Russian respondents who say they “know nothing” about developments in Syria has more than doubled to 39 percent in the past year.

Levada conducted the survey among 1,625 respondents in 50 Russian regions between April 18 and April 23.

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