May 3, 2022 - World

Ukrainians’ approval drops for leaders of Russia, Belarus, Germany

Data: Rating Group Ukraine; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

President Biden's approval rating among everyday Ukrainians shot up by 20 points between January and April, as the U.S. led and steadily ramped up efforts to arm Ukraine against Russia's invasion, according to polling by Rating Group Ukraine.

Why it matters: The prevailing sentiment about Western assistance and solidarity has been overwhelmingly positive within Ukraine, despite some recurring frustrations from Kyiv about the pace and scale of sanctions and military aid.

  • The survey was conducted a day after Biden announced a fresh package of $800 million in military aid to Ukraine, but before he asked Congress to authorize a staggering $33 billion in additional security and economic assistance.
  • The results of the poll also do not take into account the recent visits to Kyiv by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Zoom out: While the survey covered the Ukrainian view of world leadership, the world's respect for its leader — President Volodymyr Zelensky — has soared since the invasion.

As they look outward, 92% of Ukrainians have positive views of Polish President Andrzej Duda — the highest approval rating of any leader polled.

That's followed by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson (87%) and Biden (86%).

  • Poland has welcomed nearly 3 million refugees, played a leading role within the European Union on supplying Ukraine with heavy weaponry and advocated for punishing Russia with the harshest sanctions.
  • The U.K. has repeatedly been a first-mover in providing Ukraine with crucial military aid, including anti-tank, anti-ship and air defense systems.
  • Johnson, who's battling scandals at home, saw his popularity among Ukrainians surge even further after he became the first G7 leader to visit Kyiv during the war.

Between the lines: The only Western leader whose approval rating dropped was German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

It fell from 37% to 30% between the Rating Group's January and April surveys.

  • Germany stunned many observers by reversing its restrictive arms export policy to send missiles to Ukraine in February but has since been criticized for refusing to transfer heavy weaponry or support a ban on Russian gas.
  • Zelensky controversially rejected a request by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to visit Kyiv last month, an expression of disappointment for his longstanding support for rapprochement with Russia.

Methodology: The Rating Group polled 1,000 Ukrainians aged 18 and older in all oblasts, except for the temporarily occupied territories of the Crimea and Donbas. The margin of error is ±3.1%.

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