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Majority of Russians want U.S. operation in Afghanistan to succeed

MOSCOW. Nov 6 (Interfax) - The majority of Russians - 57% - sincerely would like the U.S. to enjoy success in its military operation in Afghanistan, while 26% of Russians would not.

Meanwhile, only 34% of the respondents believe that America will succeed and 46% do not.

At the same time, almost half of Russians (46%) do not consider Osama bin Laden's involvement in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. to be a proven fact, and only 30% of Russians believe him culpable.

Interfax obtained this information on Tuesday from sociologists of the all-Russian public opinion survey center (VTsIOM), which conducted a representative poll of 1,600 Russians on October 30.

In general, 47% of Russians support the U.S. military operation and 41% do not support it. On the other hand, 45% of those polled believe that the operation will result in the overthrow of Taliban rule, while 36% do not. As for the elimination of the threat of international terrorism, Russians are rather skeptical about it, as only 21% of them expect that the anti-Taliban operation will put an end to terrorism and 43% do not.

What is more, 62% of Russian are apprehensive that the operation in Afghanistan could destabilize the situation in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, while only 14% have the opposite opinion.

In addition, 80% of those polled take the view that the military operation in Afghanistan could push Muslim extremists into staging new terrorist attacks in different countries, including Russia, while 9% do not.

At the same time, 58% of the respondents favor the presence of Russian troops in Tajikistan and 25% want their withdrawal.

The poll also revealed that 55% of Russians believe that if the Taliban try to invade Uzbekistan, the Russian army should get involved in repulsing the attack, while 29% do not share this view.

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