Russia Ukraine Kyiv Canada humanitarian military aid

Photo by Ivan Sedlovskyi

Support for Ukraine: Canadians favour humanitarian over military aid

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underway, Canadians are watching the response by the government of Canada.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underway, Canadians are watching the response by the government of Canada, which imposed a number of sanctions on Russia and Russian officials (including Vladimir Putin) and sent 460 troops to nearby Latvia in accordance with NATO this week. A Feb. 17 study by the Angus Reid Institute on the Ukraine-Russia border conflict found that while most Canadians support some form of aid to Ukraine, few support unilateral action by Canada without our NATO allies.

According to the poll, 59% of Canadians want Canada to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine in the form of medicine, food aid and medical personnel; just 13% feel that Canadian troops should be sent to fight alongside Ukrainian troops.

“Canada so far has expanded its annual military training mission in Ukraine for an additional three years, adding 60 troops to the 200 already on the ground who teach Ukrainian forces tactics, combat engineering, sniper reconnaissance, and medical skills. There are another 900 Canadian troops stationed in central and eastern Europe.

“Canada has also provided non-lethal military equipment, including body armour, metal detectors, thermal binoculars, and surveillance technology. It also sent nearly $8-million of arms including machine guns, hand pistols, carbines, and ammo.”

—Angus Reid Institute

Among those respondents who support sanctions, sending military personnel or offering lethal military hardware to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, 69% would prefer Canada work with NATO allies. Just a quarter (24%) believe Canada should act on its own if necessary.

Support for Ukraine: Canada should act with NATO allies, not unilaterally

According to Angus Reid, 68% of Canadians and 61% of Americans believe Ukraine should be allowed to join NATO.

Should Ukraine be allowed to join NATO?

This article was originally published on Feb. 18 and updated on Feb. 26, 2022.

For the complete results and methodology, please visit the Angus Reid Institute website.

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