The percentage of Russians who consider Iraq to be friendly towards Russia has significantly increased over the last year. According to an opinion poll carried out by the Public Opinion foundation, 49% of Russians consider Iraq to have a friendly attitude towards Russia (a year ago the figure was 39%). Only 2% consider Iraq to be an unfriendly state (a year ago this point of view was held by 35% of those polled).
87% of respondents are opposed to the war being planned by the US and UK, and only 2% believe that 'it is right to begin military action.' In addition, 45% of those polled hold the view that the work of international observers in Iraq ought to be extended, while 42% believe that 'Iraq should be left alone, international inspections should be ended and international sanctions should be cancelled.' Those in favour of giving Iraq a "full pardon" are most likely to be rural residents and people who have not completed secondary education (48%). People with a higher education are most likely to be in favour of extending international inspections (59%).
1,500 people were interviewed for the poll, which was held on February 21, 2003.
Russian officials have repeatedly declared that Israeli aviation poses a threat to the Russian military in Syria.