Most Americans are in favour of the US sanctioning Russia, but stop short of favouring US troop deployment to Ukraine to fight against Russian forces, according to the poll.

The poll and follow-up interviews indicate many Americans, responding to images of Ukrainians being killed, want to see more action to stop Russia.
The poll and follow-up interviews indicate many Americans, responding to images of Ukrainians being killed, want to see more action to stop Russia. (AFP)

Many Americans still question whether President Joe Biden is showing enough strength in response to Russia’s Ukraine assault, as most approve of steps the US is already taking and few want US troops to get involved.

A poll by The Associated Press-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research shows 54 percent of Americans think Biden has been “not tough enough” in his response.

Thirty-six percent think his approach has been about right, while 8 percent say he’s been too tough.

But as the conflict has dragged on, Americans’ desire to get involved has waned somewhat. Thirty-two percent of Americans say the US should have a major role in the conflict. 

That’s ticked back down from 40 percent last month, though that remains slightly higher than the 26 percent who said so in February. An additional 49 percent say the US should have a minor role.

READ MORE: US leads walkout against Russia at G20 summit over Ukraine

Public opinion

The poll and follow-up interviews with respondents indicate many Americans, responding to images of Ukrainians being killed, want to see more action to stop Putin.

A majority — 57 percent — say they believe Putin has directed his troops to commit what his critics call “war crimes”. Just 6 percent say he has not, while 36 percent say they aren't sure.

Most Americans are in favour of the US sanctioning Russia for the Ukraine onslaught, providing weapons to Kiev and accepting refugees from Ukraine into the US.

More Americans also support than oppose deploying US troops to Eastern Europe to support US NATO allies in response to Russia’s offensive, and about two-thirds say NATO membership is good for the US.

But public support stops short of deploying US troops to Ukraine to fight against Russian forces.

Only 22 percent say they favour deploying US troops to Ukraine to fight against Russian forces, while 55 percent are opposed; 23 percent say they are neither in favour nor opposed.

By a narrow margin, Americans say the nation’s bigger priority is sanctioning Russia as effectively as possible over limiting damage to the US economy (51 percent to 45 percent).

Last month, more said they prioritised sanctioning Russia over limiting damage to the economy (55 percent to 42 percent).

(The AP-NORC poll of 1,085 adults was conducted April 14-18 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the US population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points)

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Source: AP