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One year on, US support remains strong for Ukraine

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its second year, the war does not appear to have an end in sight. Russia has ravaged numerous Ukrainian cities, and experts predict it will take over $1 trillion to rebuild Ukraine.

Despite this devastation, the international community’s commitment to assist Ukraine during its time of need remains strong. For example, the United States has provided billions of dollars in aid. U.S. President Joe Biden recently reaffirmed this commitment, stating that America will be with Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” This statement was later reaffirmed by U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken, who stated that the U.S. would send an additional $10 billion in aid to Ukraine.

Outside of the administration, Ukraine continues to have strong bipartisan support in Congress. For example, Congress passed a large omnibus bill for 2023 that contained the Ukraine Supplement Appropriations Act for 2023. This Act states that the U.S. will provide “$45 billion in emergency funding to support the Ukrainian people, defend global democracy in the wake of Russia’s unprovoked attacked on Ukraine, and for other purposes.”

In addition, numerous representatives and senators from both sides of the aisle have introduced legislation supporting Ukraine in the House and Senate. These bills and resolutions range from continuing to recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity to holding Russian mercenaries accountable for the atrocities they have committed in Ukraine.

One year on, the U.S. public perception of Ukraine also remains strong. According to a recent Gallup poll, 69 percent of surveyed Americans believed that the United States should continue providing aid to Ukraine. In a similar survey conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Relations, nearly three-quarters of Americans believe that the United States should continue to send economic and defense aid to Ukraine. These results suggest that most Americans continue to support Ukraine, and that there is strong backing for this Eastern European state.

While the actions of the U.S. government are welcomed, and although most Americans have voiced strong support for Ukraine, warning signs have begun to emerge. For example, in September 2022, Gallup conducted a poll inquiring with participants about U.S. aid to Ukraine. At the time, “56 percent of Republications, 70 percent of independents, and 90 percent of Democrats believed that the United States should continue providing aid to Ukraine.” Tallying these figures, 72 percent of Americans believed that the U.S. should continue to support Ukraine during its time of need. Five months later, these figures have dipped. In February 2023, Gallop found that 50 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of independents, and 89 percent of Democrats believed that the United States should continue providing aid to Ukraine. In total, 67 percent of the Americans surveyed believed that the U.S. should continue to aid Ukraine.

In other words, most Americans, regardless of their political affiliation, still support Ukraine.

But there was a three-point decrease in the February 2023 poll compared to last September. There was also a notable decrease among Republicans and independents.

This slight decline in support may suggest that war fatigue has crept into some of the minds of the American public. U.S. aid to Ukraine has been expensive, accounting for nearly $50 billion in 2022 and a committed $45 billion in 2023. In addition, tens of thousands of Ukrainians have died during the war.

Other reasons can be attributed to the decline in support. For example, some individuals surveyed stated that, while they oppose the Russian invasion of Ukraine, they believe the United States should invest more in domestic problems such as inflation and rising prices. Once these areas are addressed, these individuals felt that only then would it be more appropriate to focus on international matters.

Finally, some Americans do not consider the Russian invasion of Ukraine a top concern. This group does not see Ukraine as a national security matter for the United States.

Overall, there continues to be a wide range of opinions by the American public about continued U.S. assistance to Ukraine.

Regardless of their backgrounds and interests, recent polling suggests that American support remains steady, and that most Americans continue to support Ukraine. Recent polling also indicates that this should not be taken for granted — but for now, it bodes well for Ukraine’s continued relationship with America.

Mark Temnycky is an accredited freelance journalist covering Eastern Europe and a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. He can be found on Twitter @MTemnycky

Tags Antony Blinken Joe Biden Public opinion Russian invasion of Ukraine Russian war in Ukraine support for Ukraine Ukraine US aid to Ukraine US military aid to Ukraine Western military aid to Ukraine

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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