US poll: Ukraine is losing – let’s give it weapons!

The idea of increasing US military aid to Ukraine is gaining popularity in the United States again, a fresh poll by The Economist/YouGov shows. Supporters of the idea are on par with opponents for the first time since June 2023, with both opposing answers gaining 30 per cent each among respondents.

Is there a pattern here? Yes, there is.

Since May of last year, the weekly poll among Americans by the British polling service YouGov on current foreign and domestic policy topics has regularly included the question “Do you favour the United States increasing, decreasing, or maintaining the same amount of military aid to Ukraine?”.

From the end of June until 19 February, when this question was asked for the penultimate time, supporters of reducing U.S. military aid to Kyiv were always more numerous. The record-breaking gap in opinion was in September. But no, this was not due to the fact that American housewives suddenly realised the scale of the failure of the Ukrainian armed forces’ “counter-offensive”. On the contrary, it was in September that conviction in Kiev’s imminent victory prevailed among the respondents.

Up until December-2023, the majority of Americans believed that Ukraine was winning. And as soon as the gloom of “peremogi” dissipated, the gap in the question of new military aid began to narrow – and now it has come to naught.

According to the latest YouGov poll of 18 March, only 13% of Americans believe that today the preponderance is on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (23% believe it is on the side of the Russian Armed Forces). And only 22% believe that Ukraine will emerge victorious from the war (29% have no doubts about Russia’s victory). However, the lion’s share of Americans now and a year ago simply has no idea how it will end.

Thus, the pattern is simple: the fewer Americans believe that the current preponderance in the war is on the side of the Ukrainian armed forces, the more among them are in favour of increasing military aid to Kiev. This is a very cynical approach: ordinary Americans are ready to help Ukraine not unconditionally, but only so that it does not “die” completely.

Elena Panina