Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he believes World War Three could become a reality if the U.S. does not continue to support Ukraine having already contributed roughly $70 billion towards the effort.
Speaking on 60 Minutes Sunday night, Zelensky compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler.
‘The whole world [has to] decide whether we want to stop Putin, or whether we want to start the beginning of a world war. We can’t change Putin. Russian society has [lost] the respect of the world,’ Zelensky said.
‘They elected him and re-elected him and raised a second Hitler. They did this. We cannot go back in time. But we can stop it here.’
Zelensky is expected at the White House and on Capitol Hill this week as he visits the U.S. during the United Nations General Assembly.
The Ukrainian president made a wartime visit to Washington in December 2022 and delivered an impassioned address to a joint meeting of Congress.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he believes World War Three could become a reality if the U.S. does not maintain its support for Ukraine
Zelenskyy is scheduled to visit the White House and Capitol Hill during his visit to the United States for the United Nations General Assembly this week. He is pictured there in December
At the time, it was his first known trip outside his country since Russia invaded in February 2022.
He is expected to to make the case for the U.S. to continue to provide support for his war-torn country.
‘We’re defending the values of the whole world. And these are Ukrainian people who are paying the highest price. We are truly fighting for our freedom, we are dying. We are not fiction, we are not a book. We are fighting for real with a nuclear state that threatens to destroy the world,’ Zelensky told CBS News.
‘If Ukraine falls, what will happen in ten years? Just think about it. If [the Russians] reach Poland, what’s next? A Third World War?’ he asked.
A daughter of a Ukrainian prisoner of war holds a portrait of her father during a rally demanding an acceleration of the exchange of prisoners near the building of the coordination headquarters for the treatment of prisoners of war in Kyiv. Pictured last week
‘If Ukraine falls, what will happen in ten years? Just think about it. If [the Russians] reach Poland, what’s next? A Third World War?’ Zelensky asked.
U.S. has already contributed approximately $70bn with Congress now divided on whether to funnel further cash to the war effort. Joe Biden walks with Zelensky last December
This time, however, Congress is increasingly divided over providing additional funding for Ukraine as the war is well into its second year.
Biden has sought a package of $13.1 billion in additional military aid for Ukraine and $8.5 billion for humanitarian support. It also includes $2.3 billion for financing and to catalyze donors through the World Bank.
But conservative Republican lawmakers have been pushing for broad federal spending cuts and some of those allied with Donald Trump, the former president, are specifically looking to stop money to Ukraine.
Noting the $70 billion the U.S. has already sent to Ukraine, Zelensky was asked if he expected that level of support to continue.
‘The United States of America [is] supporting Ukraine financially and I’m grateful for this,’ Zelensky said.
Zelensky noted how he had not received some military aide fast enough but is thankful for the support of President Biden.
Zelensky compared Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, right, to Adolf Hitler. Putin is seen meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, left, last week
Hitler is seen with his bodyguards in 1931 at a meeting of the Nazi party in Bad Harzburg
‘I just think they’re not supporting only Ukraine. If Ukraine falls, Putin will surely go further. What will the United States of America do when Putin reaches the Baltic states? When he reaches the Polish border? He will. This is a lot of money. We have a lot of gratitude. What else must Ukraine do for everyone to measure our huge gratitude? We are dying in this war.’
When asked how much more money would Ukraine need, Zelensky was unable to specify a figure.
‘I don’t have an answer,’ Zelensky said, noting that Putin will continue to threaten the possibility of nuclear war stoking instability in the United States and Europe.
‘I think that he’s going to continue threatening,’ Zelensky said. ‘He is waiting for the United States to become less stable. He thinks that’s going to happen during the U.S. election. He will be looking for instability in Europe and the United States of America. He will use the risk of using nuclear weapons to fuel that [instability]. He will keep on threatening.’
During Sunday night’s interview Zelensky admitted how progress had been slow in the Ukrainian counter-offensive but insisted the troops were steadily moving forward with around 40,000 shells a day being fired by Ukrainian troops.
‘It’s a difficult situation. I will be completely honest with you. We have the initiative. This is a plus. We stopped the Russian offensive and we moved onto a counter-offensive. And despite that, it’s not very fast. It is important that we are moving forward every day and liberating territory.
‘We need to liberate our territory as much as possible and move forward, even if it’s less than [half a mile or] a hundred [yards] we must do it,’ Zelensky continued. ‘We mustn’t give Putin a break.’
Zelensky was asked what he thought Putin was trying to achieve by killing civilians in the country.
‘To break [us]. And by choosing civilian targets, Putin wanted to achieve exactly this – to break [us]. This person who has made his way with such bloody actions, with everything he has said, cannot be trusted. There is no trust in such a person because he has not been a human being for a long time,’ Zelensky said.