Western public support for Ukraine falling
The people of the West are growing impatient with their governments' support of the Ukraine war as public support for the war is decreasing among westerners.
On the one-year anniversary of the Ukraine-Russia war, Western leaders have been doing their best to demonstrate their steady support for Ukraine. While US President Joe Biden announced new military assistance and further sanctions on Russia while on his surprise visit to Ukraine, European allies in Munich vowed additional military and financial support to Kiev.
However, some cracks have started to emerge; in the United States, a new AP poll has revealed that less than half of Americans (48%) support the United States giving arms to Ukraine, while In May 2022, less than three months into the war, 60% of US adults supported sending weapons to Ukraine, it further showed.
Another Pew poll from this year revealed that the number of Americans who believe the US is contributing "too much" to Ukraine has nearly quadrupled in less than a year.
They believe that the US is supplying "too much" cash and weapons to Ukraine now, which now outnumbers those who believe it is providing "too little," per the results. During the previous ten months, the percentage of Americans growing disillusioned with Washington's latest military gambit has risen from 7% to 26%. What’s more, the number of Americans who said that the US is not delivering enough support has dropped from 42% to 20%.
While Biden should worry about public opinion in the United States, the EU leaders need to maintain unity between European countries too. Recent polls reveal widespread opinions about the conflict. However, while most countries generally support Ukraine, participants in the polls are asked whether they approve or disapprove of the EU's support for Ukraine, but no details are provided about the kind of support (beyond humanitarian, financial, and military). This shows how vague these polls commissioned by the EU, are.
A recent Ipsos poll reveals the European countries' descending trend in support for sending weapons to Ukraine, with German support falling below half for the first time.
What is even more surprising is that even some of Ukraine’s loudest supporters have become dispirited by the war: in the same survey, there was a 10 percent drop among Poles supporting the economic sanctions against Russia and an 11 percent drop in accepting Ukrainian refugees.
Germany, a particularly interesting case, has faced heavy criticism for the perceived delay in providing military support to Ukraine. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has turned into one of Kiev's loudest defenders, who keeps urging countries to hurry up in delivering arms to Ukraine and has recently said it would be "wise to prepare for a long war".
However, how have Germans received this message?
Previous surveys may offer some answers; one January Forsa poll revealed that 80% of Germans said it was more important to end the conflict quickly with negotiations than for Ukraine to win. Another survey of nine EU countries by Euroskopia found that over 60% of Austrians and Germans want the war to end quickly whereas the Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish strongly oppose this idea.
Thus, war fatigue appears to be set in more quickly in Germany than in any other country, with public opinion hardening lately; 43% now agree that "the problems of Ukraine are none of our business, and we should not interfere", marking an 11% increase from March-April 2022 to November-December 2022. This could explain the rise of the Left Party Sahra Wagenknecht, which is spearheading an anti-war movement in Germany.
During the first year of the war, Western leaders showed remarkable levels of unity; however, their voters are starting to be more hesitant in their commitment today.