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Americans Support Ukraine—but Not with US Troops or a No-Fly Zone

RESEARCH Public Opinion Survey by Dina Smeltz and Craig Kafura
Rally In Support Of Ukraine Held In New York City

A new poll reveals that Americans see Russia as a significant threat to US interests and support military and economic assistance to Ukraine.

In response to Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine, the United States and its allies have imposed sanctions on Russia that are striking in their scope and severity and represent a broad effort to impose serious economic costs on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. For their part, a March 25-28 Chicago Council survey finds that Americans support all measures to help Ukraine and pressure Russia short of direct US involvement in a military conflict. And while the public views the broad sanctions imposed on Russia as generally effective at punishing, weakening, and deterring Russia from further aggression, they doubt that sanctions will be enough to persuade Moscow to withdraw troops from Ukraine—the key condition Americans identify as necessary for lifting sanctions.

Key Findings

  • Americans now see the risk of a nuclear exchange between the United States and Russia (69%), Russian territorial ambitions (67%), Russian power and influence in the world (60%), and Russian military power (54%) as critical threats to the United States.
  • To respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Americans support providing military (79%) and economic (78%) assistance to Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russia (77%), and taking in Ukrainian refugees (74%).
  • Americans see sanctions on Russia as an effective tool for weakening the Russian economy (77%), punishing Russia for invading Ukraine (67%), weakening Russia’s ability to engage in future military actions (65%), and deterring Russia from taking military action against its NATO-member neighbors (60%).
  • Two-thirds of Americans (67%) say the United States and other allied nations should require the withdrawal of Russian military forces from Ukraine before lifting sanctions.
About the Authors
Senior Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy
Headshot for Dina Smeltz
Dina Smeltz, a polling expert, has more than 25 years of experience designing and fielding international social and political surveys. Prior to joining the Council to lead its annual survey of American attitudes on US foreign policy, she served in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the US State Department's Office of Research from 1992 to 2008.
Headshot for Dina Smeltz
Assistant Director, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy
headshot of Craig Kafura
Craig Kafura is the assistant director for public opinion and foreign policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a Security Fellow with the Truman National Security Project, and a Pacific Forum Young Leader. At the Council, he coordinates work on public opinion and foreign policy and is a regular contributor to the public opinion and foreign policy blog Running Numbers.
headshot of Craig Kafura