64 percent of the British public oppose deploying Western troops to defend Ukraine from Russia, while 59 percent also oppose sending military aid to the Ukrainian government. The figures, published by YouGov for the Sunday Times, also show that 38 percent even oppose giving any financial aid to the Ukrainians.
48 percent would also oppose military action by the USA and other Western countries to stop Russia annexing the Crimea.
Despite the scepticism towards military involvement and unwillingness to offer direct help to Ukraine, the majority of the British public are still sympathetic towards the Eastern European state and strongly disagree with Russia’s actions.
50 percent support imposing trade sanctions against Russia, while 42 percent also support other economic sanctions. 38 percent support freezing Russian assets in Western banks, compared to 33 percent against.
54 percent see Russia as an aggressive nation, and 43 percent think it poses an economic threat to the West. 45 percent also believe it poses a military threat.
While the public do not see intervention in the Ukraine as a priority, the poll does suggest that they would be much less sceptical about defending states nearer to home. 43 percent would support military action against Russia if it tried to attack the Baltic States (i.e. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia), compared to just 28 percent opposing it.
The Crimean government last week voted to leave Ukraine and become part of Russia. The decision will be voted on by the Crimean people in a referendum this coming Sunday.
It remains to be seen whether international observers will be allowed to monitor the vote.