ROME — The high cost of living is provoking strikes, protests and widespread grumbling. Talk about nuclear weapons has heightened anxieties and encouraged some to demand rapid negotiations. And President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia is wooing politicians, including many from populist parties on the right and the left who have flirted with him in the past.
But while Mr. Putin may have bet on European fatigue and intolerance for hardship to divide the alliance and buckle its weakest members, more than eight months into Russia’s war on Ukraine, the scale of the challenges has been leveraged effectively by leaders to stiffen the public spine and Europe is holding firm.
Despite some kicking and screaming, governments across the ideological spectrum and the continent — in Western and Eastern Europe, in the Baltics and along the Mediterranean — are maintaining support for Ukraine and tough sanctions on Russia.
While recent polls show a slight dip in popular support for Ukraine across Europe, backing still remains strong, and the leaders of Germany, France and Italy — the continent’s three largest countries — seem insulated against external and internal pressures to cave for the foreseeable future, as they have all recently had elections.
Many analysts believe that commitment will last as long as the United States holds the line, but gains in Tuesday’s midterm elections by Republicans, some of whom have questioned the cost of the war, could alter those expectations.
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