Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to the U.S. did little to rally Americans behind his embattled nation, as a steep partisan divide weakens support for its war effort, a new poll found.
The ABC News/Washington Post survey released Sunday revealed Americans' desire to fund Ukraine's war with Russia continues to flag, with 41% of respondents saying the U.S. is doing too much, compared to 33% in February. Exactly half said the U.S. is doing the right amount or not enough, down from 60% in February.
The numbers reflect partisan positions as Republican members of Congress, especially in the House, have increasingly voiced opposition to President Joe Biden's funding requests for military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, which has already amounted to more than $100 billion. The current request under congressional consideration is for $24 billion.
Among survey respondents who lean Republican, 58% believe the U.S. is providing Ukraine too much support, nearly three times as many as the 22% of those leaning Democrat who said that.
The phone poll of 1,006 adults was conducted Sept. 15-20, which included the two days at the United Nations summit in New York attended by Zelenskyy but not the day of his visit to Congress and the White House last week.
∎ A Ukrainian drone strike "insignificantly damaged" the roof of an administrative building in the Russian city of Kursk, according to regional Gov. Roman Starovoit. Unconfirmed media reports in both countries said it was the offices of the Kursk branch of Russia’s main security agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB).
∎ Russian attacks in the southern Kherson province killed two people and injured eight, including five in the city and regional capital of the same name, authorities said. A Ukrainian offensive drove Moscow's forces out of Kherson city in November but they have continued to shell it from across the Dnipro River.
∎ Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., who earlier in 2023 was sentenced to 25 years in prison for publicly denouncing Russia’s war in Ukraine, has been transferred to a maximum security prison in Siberia and placed in a tiny “punishment cell,” his lawyer said Sunday.
∎ The injury count from the Russian missile strike Friday in the central city of Kremenchuk has increased to 55 people, according to Mayor Vitalii Maletskyi. One person was killed.
Zelenskyy thanks miffed ally Poland for its 'invaluable support'
Zelenskyy appears to be trying to mend fences with leaders of neighboring Poland, which has been a staunch ally during the war, after his comments at the UN rankled them.
In a Saturday tweet that included a video, Zelenskyy announced he was giving state awards to two Polish volunteers and concluded by saying, "I thank Poland for its invaluable support and solidarity that helps defend freedom of our entire Europe!''
That came on the heels of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki warning Zelenskyy "never to insult Poles again” and saying Poland will stop sending weapons to Ukraine.
Though the two countries have been collaborating in their opposition to Russian aggression, in the last several weeks they have engaged in a trade dispute as Ukraine has tried to export its grain by land through European nations − including Poland − whose farmers complain those products create a glut and lower their prices.
In his U.N. speech, Zelenskyy referred to the disagreement as “political theater.”
On Sunday, Polish President Andrzej Duda said his country has established transit corridors so Ukrainian grain can get exported, a sign of easing tensions.
'Very productive' week for Zelenskyy: Military aid, investment interest
Even if he wasn't able to win over more of the American public, Zelenskyy hardly returned home empty-handed. For one, the White House announced a $325 million military aid package during his visit Thursday, and Canada pledged $650 million in security assistance over the next three years.
In addition, the Ukrainian leader said he met with several business leaders who expressed interest in investing in Ukraine's reconstruction, among them former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was also among the billionaires seen meeting with Zelenskyy in a photo he posted on Telegram.
"The American entrepreneurs and financiers confirmed their readiness to make large-scale investments in our country immediately after the end of the war and the receipt of security guarantees," said Zelenskyy, who described his week as "very productive."
Ukraine again attacks target in greater Moscow area
Russia's air defenses were trying to fend off a drone attack early Monday in the Tula province, about 120 miles south of Moscow, Russia's state RIA news agency reported. In the last several months, Ukraine has become more aggressive in going after targets deep into Russian territory, including Moscow.
No injuries or damage was initially reported, said RIA, citing the ministry of regional security. But the attack prompted Moscow's Vnukovo and Domedovo airports to reduce air traffic, according to the TASS news agency.
Also Monday, Ukraine’s Air Force warned that Russia launched cruise missiles and drones toward the southern Odesa province, Ukrainska Pravda reported.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Russia-Ukraine war updates: Where Americans now stand on US support