A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center reveals a startling number of Americans on both sides of the political aisle support military action against Russia in Ukraine – even if it means nuclear war.
The survey presents a series of scenarios on how the United States could intervene or react to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Eighty-five percent support keeping strict economic sanctions on Russia, while 77 percent support a military presence in surrounding NATO nations, and 69 percent support taking in Ukrainian refugees.
The only action that a majority of Americans oppose is military action with a looming threat of nuclear war, but it remains an alarmingly high number considering the consequences are laid out in the question itself.
Over a third (35%) of Americans say they would favor military action “even if it risks a nuclear conflict with Russia.”
Broken down by political party, nearly an equal percentage of Republicans and Democrats support military action that could lead to a nuclear response (36-35%).
The poll comes as a handful of lawmakers push for a no-fly zone in Ukraine that would lead to direct conflict with Russia.
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) explained that a no-fly zone could lead to direct conflict between nuclear powers.
“It would be World War III,” she said. “And I don’t think that’s in the best interest of NATO, our partners and allies and friends.”
Over a third of Americans according to the Pew Research Survey believe that’s a risk they’re willing to take.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, early on in the military invasion of Ukraine, ordered Russia’s “deterrence forces” – which wield nuclear weapons – on high alert.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres earlier this week told reporters, “The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility.”
Maria Baronova, a prominent Russian journalist who quit her state-TV job, said she fears the world is “on the brink of a nuclear war.”
“I know these people very well. They never send threats, they just kill, so there is kind of [a] weird silence around me, but I really think we’re on the brink of a nuclear war right now,” she said in an interview with Fox News Digital.
She added, “I’m not exaggerating.”
The Pew survey notes that more Americans approve of President Biden’s handling of the Russian invasion of Ukraine than disapprove (47-39%), even as his overall job approval is under water (43% approve, 55% disapprove).
Forty-two percent say the U.S. should be providing more support to Ukraine, while just 7% say it is providing too much support.
In an interview with NBC News, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggested World War III may have already started.
“Nobody knows whether it may have already started. And what is the possibility of this war if Ukraine will fall, in case Ukraine will? It’s very hard to say,” Zelenskyy said.
He added that the outcome of this war puts the “whole civilization at stake.”
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