What do Americans think of the Russia-Ukraine war and of the US response?- Pew study

A new Pew Research Center poll found that a significant amount of Americans are concerned they could be Russia's next target.

 US first lady Jill Biden meets with Olena Zelenska, wife of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, at School 6, a public school that has taken in displaced students in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, May 8, 2022. (photo credit: Susan Walsh/Pool via REUTERS REFILE)
US first lady Jill Biden meets with Olena Zelenska, wife of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, at School 6, a public school that has taken in displaced students in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, May 8, 2022.
(photo credit: Susan Walsh/Pool via REUTERS REFILE)

Nearly 5,000 miles away from Russia's ongoing barrage of rockets on Ukraine, Americans are following the Russia-Ukraine war closely, even as the conflict enters its third month. Indeed, a large portion of Americans are so invested in the conflict they think the US could be Russia's next target, according to a new poll by The Pew Research Center released on Tuesday. 

According to the survey, conducted from April 25 to May 1 among 5,074 US adults, majorities are extremely or very concerned about the possibility of Russia invading other countries in the region (59%), and that the war in Ukraine may continue for a long time (57%) and Ukraine possibly being defeated and taken over by Russia (55%).

About half of Americans also say they are either extremely (24%) or very (26%) concerned about the possibility of US and NATO support for Ukraine leading to a US war with Russia, with about one-third also saying they are somewhat concerned about this.

It also indicates the share of adults saying the US isn't providing enough support to Ukraine has declined since March. 

 US President Joe Biden, flanked by Mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, visits Ukrainian refugees at PGE National Stadium, in Warsaw, Poland March 26, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN) US President Joe Biden, flanked by Mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, visits Ukrainian refugees at PGE National Stadium, in Warsaw, Poland March 26, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)

Overall, more US adults approve (45%) than disapprove (34%) of the Biden administration’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Views of the administration’s response are mostly the same as they were in March (when 47% approved and 39% disapproved).

However, the results noted that these opinions have shifted somewhat within each party. Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, the share who disapprove of the Biden administration’s response to the Russian invasion has declined since March.

Meanwhile, there has been a decline among the share of Democrats and Democratic leaners saying they approve of the Biden administration’s response to the Russian invasion.

Both political parties tend to agree when it comes to US-imposed sanctions on Russia, the survey found, with sizable majorities of both Republicans (73%) and Democrats (80%) expressing satisfaction with economic sanctions and the sending of military equipment and weapons to Ukraine. 

When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the Biden administration immediately placed sanctions on Russian elites and their families, in addition to the country's second-largest lender VTB Bank, which is among four Russian banks holding a total of $1 trillion in assets. 

Just days prior to the release of the survey, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced on Friday that it has authorized an additional military aid package to assist Ukraine. The authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance, valued at up to an additional $150 million, is the ninth renewal of supplies from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021.

The package, which is designed to help Ukraine fight Russia's brutal invasion, includes 25,000 rounds of 155mm artillery and field equipment.