Most Americans favor some role in supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia, but support for supplying weapons and money to Ukraine is declining, a new survey suggests.
The survey by The Associated Press and the National Opinion Research Center showed 48% of those interviewed supported providing weapons to Kyiv, 29% opposed it and 22% had no opinion. In the last survey, taken in May, 60% of Americans supported supplying weapons to Ukraine.
A majority of Democrats supported accepting Ukrainian refugees, supplying Ukraine with weapons, and sending money directly to the country. But there was less support among Republicans, the survey showed. And economic concerns were gaining import over Russian sanctions.
“Democrats and Republicans alike are increasingly likely to prioritize limiting damage to the U.S. economy over effective sanctions,” according to the survey of more than 1,000 adults Jan. 26 and Jan. 30.
‘LITTLE BY LITTLE THEY ARE WINNING’:Tide turns in key Ukraine city: Updates as Russian offensive begins.
►U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace says 97% of the Russian army is now in Ukraine. The Russians are facing “First World War levels of attrition,” he told the BBC.
►Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Wednesday that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had asked him to remain in his post. Renzikov has been under scrutiny because of a corruption scandal linked to his ministry.
►Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson pledged to send artillery systems to Ukraine “as soon as possible.” Sweden applied for membership in the NATO military alliance soon after Russia invaded Ukraine.
NATO pledges increased support for Ukraine
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that the alliance members had pledged new commitments to support Ukraine with heavy equipment and military training. NATO members also agreed to increase their defense production and to develop international NATO ammunition depots, he said at a meeting of defense ministers in Brussels.
“NATO Ministers meet at a critical time,” he tweeted. “Moscow underestimated #Ukraine’s bravery & NATO unity. We will step up & sustain our support for as long as it takes.”
Russia claims breakthrough in Donbas region
The Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday that its troops broke through two Ukrainian defensive lines in the eastern Luhansk region and pushed Ukrainian forces back 2 miles, forcing them to leave behind equipment and the bodies of those killed. It wasn’t possible to independently verify Moscow’s claim, and Ukrainian officials made no immediate comment. A new Russian offensive in the yearlong war has begun to show gains in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that make up the highly contested Donbas region of Ukraine.
Reznikov said his country’s forces would need “a few months” to learn how to use new Western weapons before they can try to push the Russians out of his country.
US intercepts Russian planes
U.S planes intercepted four Russian aircraft flying near Alaska airspace earlier this week, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said in a statement. Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace. The statement said NORAD had anticipated Russian activity and was prepared to intercept.
“This Russian activity in the North American ADIZ occurs regularly and is not seen as a threat, nor is the activity seen as provocative,” the statement said.
NORAD said the Russian flight activity was “in no way related” to a series of objects the U.S. has shot down this month, including a surveillance balloon that was downed off the coast of South Carolina.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Story Credit: usatoday.com