Ukraine: half of American public opinion approves of Washington’s arms deliveries to Ukraine in the second year of the war against Russia

WASHINGTON: Like the blue and yellow flags that popped up around the United States when Russia invaded Ukraine 15 months ago, popular American support for Washington’s support for Ukraine has faded a bit but remains widespread, according to a survey by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public. Political shows and NORC.
He revealed that half of the American population supports the Pentagon’s continued supply of weapons to Ukraine for its defense against Russian forces. That level is nearly unchanged over the past year, while around a quarter oppose keeping the military lifeline which has now topped $37 billion.
Large majorities among Democrats and Republicans think Russia’s attack on Ukraine was unjustified, according to the poll last month.
And about three in four people in the United States say the United States is playing at least some role in the conflict, according to the survey.
The findings are in line with what the Ukrainian ambassador says she sees when she makes appearances at think tanks, fancy dinners, embassy parties and other events to rally vital support from United States to his country.
“I feel the support is still strong,” Ambassador Oksana Markarova said, even as tensions with China, domestic politics, mass shootings and other news often lead the war in Ukraine in American media coverage these days.
“There are other things going on at the same time,” she said. “But I feel the bipartisan support very strong.”
When it comes to specific types of US support for Ukraine, popular support for US sanctions on Russia has seen the largest drop, from 71% a year ago to 58% this spring, although that remains the majority.
Falling support for sanctions may reflect people’s fears that efforts to economically isolate Russia have contributed to inflation, analysts said.
Overall, however, the results show that some of the early concerns of U.S. policymakers about significant material aid to Ukraine have yet to materialize: that public support would plummet if the war drags on and that massive aid to Ukraine would become a partisan wedge issue, dividing Democrats and Republicans.
“There’s no wave of U.S. Ukraine fatigue here, and it’s always been fear,” said Samuel Charap, senior political scientist at RAND Corp.’s research center.
For Cameron Hill, a 27-year-old state employee and Republican from Anadarko, Oklahoma, there was a lot to dislike about Russia’s war and its leader, Vladimir Putin: Putin’s statements that Hill considered misleading propaganda, his authoritarian rule, and Russian fighters’ attacks on civilians and other abuses.
From the start of the war in Ukraine, “there was killing of civilians, rape,” Hill said. “It didn’t look like a morally led army in the first place.”
In contrast, a video showing the courage of a Ukrainian fighter as he appeared to be executed by Russian fighters caught Hill’s attention. “His last words were something along the lines of ‘Ukrainian Slava,’” or Glory to Ukraine, Hill said.
The vast majority of American adults believe Russia has committed war crimes during the conflict, including 54% who say Russia is the only party to have done so. The International Criminal Court in The Hague in the Netherlands in March issued arrest warrants for Putin for Russia’s mass deportation of Ukrainian children.
Older adults are more likely to view Russia’s invasion as an unwarranted attempt to overthrow the Ukrainian government – 79% among those aged 45 and over, compared to 59% for those aged 44 and under.
A total of 62% see Russia as an enemy – or enemy number one – of the United States. And 48% are very worried about Russia’s influence in the world. At the same time, 50% say they have a favorable opinion of the Russian people, compared to 17% who have an unfavorable opinion.
Only 8% of people in the United States say they have a favorable opinion of Putin.
American views of Russia and its leader have been a flashpoint in American politics before, such as when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came under fire this spring for labeling Ukraine’s fight against Russian forces of “territorial dispute”. The remark was associated with a drop in support for DeSantis, a potential Republican presidential candidate.
As for the war itself, “it’s a shame it lasts so long. And I can’t imagine, you know, living there, and that would be my life every day, with bombs going explode,” Laura said. Salley, 60, a college mental health counselor in Easton, Pennsylvania, and a Democrat.
“But if we pull out, I’m pretty sure Russia will find an opportunity there to encroach again,” Salley said.
The poll of 1,180 adults was conducted April 13-17 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the US population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.


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