Role of Russia in Syrian conflict. Russian interference in USA elections

  • Russia, Syria, USA, Elections, 2017

Gallup International’s 41st Annual Global End of Year Survey

October – December 2017

40% globally evaluate the Russian military role in the conflict in Syria as ‘positive’. Public opinion is divided regarding potential Russian interference in last USA Presidential elections

Four out of ten respondents globally evaluate the Russian military role in the conflict in Syria as ‘positive’. Slightly fewer (less than 1/3 of all interviewed) view their role as ‘negative’.

Another largely discussed topic - the speculations about potential Russian interference in last USA Presidential elections, split the world’s public opinion into three: 37% around the globe believe it is possible that Russia influenced the elections outcome, 33% share the opposite opinion and the rest 30% do not have particular view on that topic.

The question about Russian role in Syrian conflict splits the Old continent - predominantly negative attitudes among the West EU countries and right the opposite position of East EU members and those countries that are not part of the European Union.

Discontented with Russian actions are the USA and Latin America, while Middle East, East and West Asia, India and Russia itself share an opinion that Russian actions in Syria have a positive effect.

The highest share of believers that Russia played certain role in US elections is registered around Western European countries and USA. The opponents of such theory are respondents in Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe and Middle East.

Key Findings

Johnny Heald, Vice President Gallup International Association (GIA):

«Russia has played a critical role in the Syrian conflict and this has divided public opinion. A plurality would support their role in helping to defeat ISIS in northern Syria but clearly others either do not like their support for Bashar al Assad or more probably do not support any foreign international airstrikes.

Meanwhile the media circus on Russian involvement in the 2016 US Presidential election carries on and any involvement divides global opinion. A plurality (37%) believe they could have influenced the outcome of the election but 33% disagree and 30% simply don’t know.   I suspect this story will continue to run and run»

Andrey Milekhin, Vice President Gallup International Association (GIA):

«In the past decade we witnessed several different scenarios for problem resolving in world’s hotspots – Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq. In majority cases solving of one issue served as a trigger for burst of multiple new conflicts. Syrian problem is an example of complicated two-coalitions attempt to stop the civil war, and this is an effect of multipolar world continuous growth. Indicative in the survey are the attitudes of Syria neighboring countries which distinctively evaluate the Russian role in the conflict as positive.

The scandal with the alleged Russian interference in the US Presidential elections managed to catch the attention of majority of people around the globe. In cases when the respondents do not have some personal experience or deeper interest in the matter, their opinion is seriously affected by the mass media propaganda. Analysis of results country by country provide quite interesting illustration of where the dominance of English-speaking media is definitive and where some plurality of media content and alternative point of view is available across media»


The Gallup International End of Year Survey (EoY) is an annual tradition initiated by and designed under the chairmanship of Dr. George Gallup in 1977. It is conducted every year since then. This year it was carried out by the Gallup International Association in partnership with WIN in 55 countries around the world.

Sample Size and Mode of Field Work

A total of 54569 persons were interviewed globally. In each country a representative sample of around 1000 men and women was interviewed either face to face (23 countries; n=24235), via telephone (13 countries; n=12456) or online (19 countries; n=17878). The field work was conducted during October 2017 – December 2017. The margin of error for the survey is between +3-5% at 95% confidence level.

Note: Considering some socio-political or cultural factors several countries skipped some EoY Survey questions.