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Americans mixed in views on Russia-Ukraine conflict

Surveyors found that one in three Americans favors U.S. intervention in Russia-Ukraine war regardless of nuclear risk.

(CN) — Americans are somewhat divided on their views of the Russia-Ukraine war, but not along the usual party lines, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.

The researchers asked U.S. adults whether they “strongly” or “somewhat” approved or disapproved, or were “not sure,” of how Biden’s administration was responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine the same week the Russian army advanced on Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.

Nearly four in 10 Americans expressed disapproval of the U.S. response to the war, while a combined 47% were either somewhat or strongly in approval of the Biden administration’s response. A full 13% of Americans are unsure how they feel.

Poll respondents were also asked whether the U.S. has been providing “too much,” “not enough” or “about the right amount” of support to Ukraine. At 42% of the split, “not enough” was the most popular choice, with “about the right amount” trailing at 32%. Only 7% of those surveyed believe the U.S. has been giving too much support to Ukraine, while almost one in five said they were unsure.

Conservative and liberal respondents were split about equally when asked if they believed Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine constitutes a “major threat” to U.S. interests. Respectively, 51% of Republican and Republican-leaning independents agreed, and 50% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents answered the same.

The U.S. working with allies to work with Russia and Ukraine during the fighting is a notion that is broadly bipartisan: 73% of all right-leaning respondents said working with our allies is the “right approach” for the U.S., and 85% of the left-leaning respondents agreed. In all, only 18% of total respondents said this was the “wrong approach.”

The survey tested respondents’ opinion on a range of foreign policy options, as well. Strict economic sanctions were the most favorable option, with a net 85% of Americans either somewhat or strongly in favor of maintaining penalties on Russia’s engagement in international commerce.

Two-in-three Americans do not want the U.S. to take “military action even if it risks a nuclear conflict with Russia,” the survey found. But a combined 35% of respondents said they somewhat or strongly favor this course of action.

Overall, 69% of Americans favor admitting “thousands of Ukrainian refugees into the U.S.” and 77% agree that keeping military forces in Ukraine’s NATO neighbors is a good idea.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a popular news item among survey respondents; in January, just 23% said they had heard “a lot” about Russia’s military buildup near the Ukrainian border, a figure that has since jumped to 69%.

The nonpartisan research organization asked 11,687 American adults to participate; 10,441 panelists responded to the self-administered internet survey between March 7 and March 13, 2022. Results from the full sample are accurate plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.

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