Americans souring on military aid to Ukraine – poll

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According to a new Reuters-Ipsos poll, an increasing percentage of Americans are opposed to providing extra military help to Ukraine, with Democratic support plummeting since the start of Kiev’s counteroffensive in June.

According to the poll, only 41% of respondents agreed that the US government “should provide weapons to Ukraine,” while 35% disapproved and the rest indicated they were “unsure.”

The findings represent a significant drop from a previous Reuters poll conducted in June, which indicated 65% support at the time.

While Democrats have been more vociferous in their support for arms shipments to Kiev, it appears that support is fading inside the party. In the most recent poll, a slender majority of 52% stated they still favoured military funding, a significant decrease from the previous year.

Some 35% of Republican respondents said they backed weapons transfers in the new survey, down from 56% in June.

Continued aid to Kiev has become a political flashpoint in the US Congress, as lawmakers battle over a long-term spending package to avert a government shutdown before November 17. Though a stopgap measure was originally slated to include billions in aid for Ukraine, Republicans successfully pushed to remove that funding from the legislation.

Despite Pentagon assurances that a federal budget crisis would not affect US aid to Ukraine, senior administration officials have warned of a potential “lapse in support” in the case of a shutdown.

“As the Congress works through its various mechanisms and procedures, we cannot under any circumstances allow America’s support for Ukraine to be interrupted,” US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters on Wednesday, adding that even a short delay could “make all the difference on the battlefield.”

President Joe Biden has indicated that officials are exploring for “workaround methods” to keep help flowing if Congress fail to reach an agreement by the November deadline. On Wednesday, Obama announced that he would speak to Congress about the need of maintaining support for Kiev, stating that it is “overwhelmingly in the interests of the United States of America that Ukraine succeed.”

Since the conflict with Russia erupted in February 2022, Washington has sent more than $45 billion in direct military aid to Ukraine, including tanks, artillery, air defence systems, drones, and missiles.