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Germans divided over permitting Ukraine to strike targets in Russia, poll finds

A recent survey reveals that 49 % of German citizens support a decision to allow Ukraine target Russian bases with Western weapons, however opinions divide between West Germans and East Germans.
Taurus for ukraine germany
24 February 2024, Hesse, Frankfurt/Main: Rally participants demand the delivery of Taurus cruise missiles. Photo: Andreas Arnold/dpa (Photo by Andreas Arnold / DPA / dpa Picture-Alliance via AFP)
Germans divided over permitting Ukraine to strike targets in Russia, poll finds

According to the RTL/ntv trend barometer, 49 % of German citizens support allowing Ukrainian attacks with Western weapons on targets inside Russia, while 44 % oppose the idea.

Germany was hesitant to permit Ukraine to strike inside Russia, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz saying he saw no reason to expand the zone where Ukraine could employ German military aid. Later, he stated that Ukraine had a right “under international law” to defend itself against attacks on Kharkiv over the Russian border.

The poll highlights differences in opinion between East and West Germany.  52 % of West Germans favor permitting Ukraine to strike Russian bases using Western weapons, whereas 62 % of East Germans reject this notion, according to ntv.

It also indicates that supporters of The Greens and The Free Democratic Party (FDP) are the most likely to back the proposal, with 70 % of each party expressing their approval. 

Conversely, 68 % of supporters of the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) and 75 % of Bündnis Sahra Wagenknecht (BSW) adherents oppose the idea. Sahra Wagenknecht is known for opposing supplying weapons to Ukraine. 

The market and opinion research institute Forsa surveyed on behalf of RTL Deutschland, which gathered data from 1,001 participants between 31 May and 3 June.

Earlier, the German government officially confirmed that it allows Ukraine to use German weapons for strikes on military facilities on the territory of Russia.

On 2 June, German Major General Christian Freudig also said that Ukraine could strike Russia with German-supplied Patriot air defense systems to protect Kharkiv Oblast, which borders Russia and faces relentless shelling.  

The UK, Poland, Lithuania, Canada, Latvia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Czechia, France, and Finland believe Ukraine has a legitimate right to strike Russian territory in self-defense.

Meanwhile, Belgium and Italy remain opposed to Ukraine using Western arms to strike inside Russia itself.

Read more:

Bundestag defense chair backs Germany’s decision to allow Ukraine to strike Russian military targets

Western permission for strikes inside Russia stops S-300 attacks on Kharkiv for days

Germany says Ukraine can strike Russia with Patriots to protect Kharkiv Oblast

Russia launched 1,000 strikes against Ukraine in the past week

Ukraine’s power grid teeters on brink: 70% generation lost to Russian strikes

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