Few Europeans believe in Ukrainian victory

The war in Ukraine

Published 5 July 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Despite a lack of confidence in Ukraine's military capabilities, many Europeans support continued arms deliveries.

Despite the steady flow of ever heavier weapons and billions of dollars in financial aid, fewer and fewer Europeans believe that Ukraine actually has a chance of winning the war against Russia militarily. Instead, the most common view is that the war will end with some kind of compromise agreement.

The European Council on Foreign Relations conducted a survey in 15 countries, and it shows that views of Ukraine’s chances vary widely from country to country. In Ukraine, 58% of respondents believe they will win the war, followed by 38% of Estonians and 20% of Poles.

The most skeptical are the Greeks and Italians, where only 3% believe in a Ukrainian victory – but even in countries like Spain, the Netherlands, the UK, France and Germany, less than 10% of respondents believe that Ukraine can win the war. As for Sweden, 17% of Swedes believe in a Ukrainian victory.

Nor do large proportions of the population in any of the countries believe that Russia will win the war – in Greece, the highest number of respondents, 31%, believe in a Russian victory. Instead, the most common view (between 30 and 49%, depending on the country) is that the war will not be decided on the battlefield, but by some kind of compromise.

It is also worth noting that in February 2023 – one year after the start of the war – Europeans’ confidence in the Ukrainian army looked very different. At that time, 61% said that Ukraine would win the war.

Few want to send their own soldiers

The ECFR survey also shows that a very small minority (between 4% and 22%) of citizens in all participating countries support the idea of deploying their own troops against Russia.

When it comes to increasing the defense budget in response to the situation in Ukraine and cutting back on health care, law enforcement and education, Sweden is at the top of the list after Poland and Estonia. 41% of Swedes are in favor of this.

It should be noted that although few believe in a Ukrainian victory today, according to the survey, most Europeans believe that their countries should help Ukraine in various ways, such as technical assistance and arms supplies. Only in Bulgaria, Greece and Italy do some respondents say that increasing arms supplies is a “bad idea”.

The polls were conducted in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Ukraine.

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