Poll: Support slipping for indefinite U.S. aid to Ukraine


A large majority of Americans still support sending arms and economic aid to Ukraine, according to a poll released Monday. But as the conflict drags into winter, Americans are divided over whether Washington should push Ukraine to reach a negotiated peace as soon as possible.

More than two-thirds of respondents support providing Ukraine with weapons and economic assistance, and roughly three-quarters support accepting Ukrainian refugees and sanctioning Russia, according to a poll by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs last month.

While support among the American public for assistance to Ukraine remains strong, Republican support for aid to Ukraine has declined since the spring, with 55 percent of Republicans saying that they support sending military aid, compared to 68 percent in July and 80 percent in March. Half of Republicans were in favor of providing economic assistance to Ukraine last month, compared with about three-quarters in March, the Chicago Council found.

The United States last month announced its latest tranche of military aid to Ukraine, the 25th since August 2021. The $400 million package includes additional weapons, ammunition and equipment, the Defense Department said , and brings total US military assistance to Ukraine to nearly $20 billion. since President Biden took office.

The United States is also sending $53 million to help repair Ukraine’s power systems, which have suffered significant damage from Russian missile attacks in recent weeks.

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With Russia’s war in Ukraine now in its 10th month, and with no end in sight, Americans are divided over whether Washington should urge Ukraine to reach a peace deal with Russia imminently, according to the ‘poll. A plurality — 40 percent — said the United States should continue its current levels of support for Ukraine indefinitely. Fifty-three percent of Democrats favor this approach. In July, however, 58 percent of Americans polled said the U.S. should help Ukraine for as long as needed, even if it meant higher gas and food prices for North consumers – Americans Now, 47 percent say Washington should push Kiev to reach an early peace deal.

A plurality of Republicans, however, would opt to gradually withdraw US support from Ukraine. Overall, 29 percent of respondents held that view, while about a quarter said the United States and its allies should intervene militarily to help Ukraine win the war quickly.

Ukraine launched a major counteroffensive this fall, retaking the northeastern region of Kharkiv and forcing Russia to withdraw from the southern city of Kherson. Kiev has vowed to continue its counteroffensive, with the stated aim of returning all territory captured by Russia, including eastern Ukraine and Crimea, which Russia seized in 2014, to Ukrainian control. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has accused Ukraine of refusing to negotiate, but has suggested Russia will not back down from its demand for international recognition of Ukrainian territories it says it has annexed.

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But obstacles threaten to slow Ukraine’s advance, with Russian positions entrenched along a front line that stretches hundreds of kilometers across southern and eastern Ukraine. The Chicago Council poll found that Americans had different perceptions of which side has the upper hand. About a third of Democrats say Ukraine has the advantage, compared with 23 percent of Republicans and 22 percent of independents. Overall, 46 percent of respondents believe that neither Ukraine nor Russia has an advantage.

“If people think that Ukraine has the advantage, they are much more supportive of continued aid to Ukraine,” said Dina Smeltz, one of the researchers.

Ukraine faces a tougher fight to extend battlefield victories

In October, Group of Seven leaders formally approved Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s terms for a peace deal, which would require Russia to withdraw from all illegally occupied sovereign Ukrainian territory.

Last week, Biden said he is willing to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Putin indicates he is interested in ending the war. “He hasn’t done it yet,” Biden told reporters at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Washington. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, meanwhile, has promised to continue helping Ukraine achieve its battlefield goals.

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“We have been very clear that the United States and countries around the world will never, ever, ever recognize territory that Russia has illegally annexed,” State Department spokesman Ned said on Friday. Price, in a press conference.

What Russia has won and lost so far in Ukraine, visualized

But Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, suggested to reporters last month that the time for Ukraine to negotiate may be nearing. He suggested to reporters that it was unrealistic to think that Ukraine could regain 20 percent of its land occupied by Russia.

With Republicans soon to take control of the House of Representatives, ushering in an era of divided government, proposals for additional aid to Ukraine could face more resistance. Ahead of last month’s midterm elections, some Republican candidates campaigned to end financial support for Ukraine. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the Republican nominee to be the next speaker of the House, has said that Republicans will not write a “blank check” for Ukraine.

Isabelle Khurshudyan, Paul Sonne, Liz Sly and Scott Clement contributed to this report.


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