Web Search Review: Russians Volunteers Prefere Fighting in Syria than in Ukraine

Rubric: Russia

Mil.Today has analyzed publicly available information about web search requests of Russian people in 2015 and found out which military topics were most popular among our nationals and which have gone giving place for new trends. As it turned out, at the end of the year Russians wanted to fight in Syria more than in Ukraine.


The war in Ukraine has been attracting the most interest among other military topics in Russia for the second year now. Things that happen in the adjacent state where most of Russians have friends and relatives were exceeded in popularity only by single military events. So, summarizing the year results, for most Russians Debaltsevo seems to be closer than Kuweires, both geographically and mentally.

Kuweires Military Airbase

Nevertheless, some particular Ukraine-related search requests have gone to the shade by new challenges that Russian society had to face. For instance, in March 2015 the query "how to sign up as a volunteer to Donbass" was the most popular in Yandex among requests where Russians search a way to get somewhere; now this query has considerably climbed down. Presently, Russians no longer want to fight in Ukraine, far more they are interested in how to get to Egypt, as Russian airline companies were forbidden to fly there because of the A321 airplane shot down over the Sinai. Speaking of Ukraine, now Russians prefer to go there only to visit relatives.

As estimated by Yandex, preliminarily forecasted number of monthly impressions (i.e. current popularity) about combat actions in Ukraine, anti-terrorist operation and the self-declared republics of Donbass equals approximately 1 913 383.


However, Russians still wish to be at war but the focus has shifted a bit southward. Among the countries where Russians want to fight in 2015, Syria has become an absolute leader. But although in case of Ukraine it is obvious what side Russians want to support, this question is open for Syrian theatre. The point is that in Russia most people interested in Syria and ISIS live in Chechnya and Dagestan; according to numerous media reports, locals of these republics often try to leave for jihad, and many do.

Among web search requests in Russia, the war in Syria prevailed over Ukraine only two times: when Russia officially entered the warfare and when the Russian air liner A321 crashed over Egypt. Yandex estimates topics of Syrian war, Islamic State and Russian military presence in Syria approximately as 1,401,209 impressions.