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Only 10% of Europeans now confident in Ukraine’s victory – poll

The poll showed over half of respondents in 12 European countries think Ukraine should accept a negotiated settlement to end the war.
Illustrative photo. Credit: President Zelesnkyy via Telegram
Only 10% of Europeans now confident in Ukraine’s victory – poll

An average of just 10% of Europeans across 12 countries believe Ukraine will win in its war against Russia’s invasion, while twice as many, 20%, expect Russia to prevail, according to a European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) poll.

The poll’s authors believe European public opinion can inform Europe’s leaders about how best to make the case to continue supporting Ukraine. However, the results show Europeans seem pessimistic about Ukraine’s chances of winning, while a plurality thinks the war will end in some settlement.

In 2024, in the aftermath of Ukraine’s disappointing counteroffensive and amid flagging Western support, some optimism seems to have disappeared. As the report states: “This weak confidence in Ukraine’s chances of victory is visible all over Europe.”

The ECFR poll surveyed over 16,000 people in 12 countries: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden.

According to the findings: “Everywhere except Poland and Portugal, more people expect a Russian victory than a Ukrainian one.” Some 37% agree the war will end in a negotiated settlement rather than a clear military win.

Credit: European Council of Foreign Relations

Respondents in three countries – Poland, Portugal, and Sweden – prefer supporting Ukraine to retake its territory. But people in Austria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, and Romania want their governments to push Kyiv to accept a settlement. Meanwhile, public opinion is more divided in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain.

About half the respondents, 52%, also prefer governments push Ukraine towards a settlement, while a third, 32%, would rather support Ukraine retaking its land.

The survey also asked how Europeans would feel about military support for Ukraine if Trump wins the 2024 US election and “throws Kyiv under the bus.”

Credit: European Council of Foreign Relations

The results show Europeans are not in an “especially heroic mood” – only 20% on average, from 7% in Greece to 43% in Sweden, want Europe to increase Ukraine support in that scenario.

Over 40% of Austria, Greece, Hungary, and Romania believe Europe should limit Ukraine support and encourage peace talks if the US does the same under Trump.

Credit: European Council of Foreign Relations

On average, only 29% of Europeans think the EU has played a positive role in the Ukraine war, 37% see its role as negative, and 34% think it has been neither positive nor negative.

ECFR research in June 2022 revealed many Europeans favored a quick resolution, even at the cost of Ukraine losing territory. The 2023 polling showed the Ukrainian army’s successes, and a demonstration of US leadership had changed European public perception – a plurality wanted to support Ukraine until it won back all its territory.

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