Censor.NET reports citing Glavkom
There was a time not long ago when turning on Russian state television of an evening would almost always mean viewing a heated discussion about the war in eastern Ukraine and the 'horrors' of Kyiv's attempts to win back territory from pro-Russia 'separatists'. But Russian media focus on Syria instead of Ukraine these days.
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The television assault appears designed to boost support for a campaign that, as surveys show, is not popular. A poll in September by the independent Levada Centre found that apathy was the predominant emotion when it came to Syria: 50% of respondents said they were either not interested in Russia's Syria policy or had no opinion, while just 14% said they would back military intervention in the conflict.
"There is less than 1,000 kilometres between Syria and Russia's borders," Vladimir Soloviev said, a talkshow host, during a programme on Wednesday evening shortly after Russian airstrikes began. "This is not some faraway conflict. After they've finished in Syria, the Islamists will come to us."
Perhaps to assuage these fears, news bulletins on state television showed pictures of fighter jets taking off, videos of precision strikes on targets said to belong to Isis, and a command centre of uniformed army officers sitting at computers directing the strikes. The broadcasts emphasised the modern equipment and warfare methods, possibly to reassure viewers that this would not become a quagmire like Afghanistan or Chechnya.
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