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Demonstration for Ukraine on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference


Peter Kneffel/dpa

Ukraine is coming under pressure in the war against Russia - and the mood in many European countries has correspondingly deteriorated: According to a survey commissioned by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in twelve EU countries, only around ten percent of those surveyed believe in one Victory of Kiev over the attacker. Twice as many expect a Russian victory. In contrast, 37 percent of those surveyed expect Ukraine and Russia to find a compromise solution.

People from Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden were surveyed. In a survey a year ago, according to the ECFR, even more Europeans believed that Ukraine should recapture all of its lost territory. The current shift in opinion is due to the Ukrainian military's stalled counteroffensive, growing concerns about a change in US policy and the possible impact of Donald Trump's re-election on the war effort, they say.

There is a certain level of war weariness, the researchers state - but most Europeans are not in an appeasement mood. From this they derive a clear recommendation for political action: the heads of state and government in Ukraine and Europe must adapt their language and emphasize the importance of a "lasting peace" - and not a ceasefire in a conflict that is far from resolved . If Trump wins the US election, it would make a Ukrainian victory less likely - but a majority of respondents believe that if that happens, Europe should maintain or increase its support for Kiev.

The differences in the respective countries are striking when it comes to the question of what policy Europe should pursue: In Sweden (50 percent), Portugal (48 percent) and Poland (47 percent), respondents were more likely to believe that Europe should support Ukraine in defense should help, while people in Hungary (64 percent), Greece (59 percent), Italy (52 percent) and Austria (49 percent) preferred to pressure Kiev to accept a solution. Views on this were relatively evenly distributed in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.

The survey does not reveal what a compromise solution between Russia and Ukraine might look like. It is also not precisely defined what a Russian victory would look like. The ECFR scientists write: "We can only speculate about how people will define a Russian victory, but it seems plausible that for many the idea of ​​a Russian victory means that Ukraine will not be able to win at all to liberate their occupied territories.