Last week it was announced that UK military trainers will be sent to Ukraine, but polling suggests the population rejects such a move.
YouGov’s poll, released on Sunday with the Sunday Times, asked respondents the following question:
“Do you support or oppose Britain sending troops to Ukraine to offer training and advice to the Ukrainian army?”
The plurality of respondents (43%) said they opposed such a move, whilst 36% indicated they would support it. A total of 21% said they did not know.
According to the Guardian, the UK government will be sending 30 trainers to the Ukrainian capital, with 25 of them giving “advice on medical training, logistics, intelligence analysis and infantry training.”
Later on more will be sent, resulting in the total number of personnel being 75.
The crisis ongoing in Ukraine began when the country’s government did not sign a new agreement with the EU back in the end of 2013. Since then the crisis has escalated with battles happening in the east of the country.
The poll, whilst showing that the public oppose the sending of British troops to Ukraine also shows that people think the West's sanctions on Russia have not been tough enough.
Respondents were asked:
"Thinking about how Britain, the USA and other Western countries have responded to Russia's actions in Ukraine, do you think western sanctions have been..."
50% of respondents said that the sanction are not tough enough, indicating that people think the West should do more to punish Russia. Just under a quarter (23%) said they thought the sanctions have been about right, whilst 5% said the sanctions have been just right.
Additionally, a total of 22% said they did not know.
Overall, the poll appears to indicate that the British public think the West should punish Russia in an economic sense, with most thinking that sanctions should go further, rather than getting involved militarily. Whilst there is a demand for British troops in Ukraine, according to the poll, more people oppose such a decision.
The full results of the Sunday Times/YouGov poll can be found here.