Ukraine PM warns of Third World War if Russia wins

Ukraine’s prime minister has told the BBC there will be a “Third World War” if Ukraine loses its conflict with Russia, as he urged the US Congress to pass a long-stalled foreign aid bill.

Denys Shmyhal expressed “careful optimism” that US lawmakers would pass the hotly contested measure, which has $61bn (£49bn) earmarked for Kyiv.

The House of Representatives is set to vote on the package this Saturday.

The proposal includes funding for Israel as well as the Indo-Pacific.

Speaking to the BBC in Washington DC on Wednesday, Prime Minister Shmyhal said of the US security assistance: “We need this money yesterday, not tomorrow, not today.”

“If we will not protect… Ukraine will fall,” he added. “So the global, the global system of security will be destroyed… and all the world will need to find… a new system of security.

“Or, there will be many conflicts, many such kinds of wars, and in the end of the day, it could lead to the Third World War.”

This is not the first time Ukraine has issued such an alarming warning about the consequences of its potential defeat.

Last year, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that if Russia won the conflict, it could next invade Poland, triggering World War Three.

But Kremlin officials have ridiculed such claims as Western scaremongering. Last month President Vladimir Putin dismissed suggestions that Russia might one day attack Eastern Europe as “complete nonsense”.

Russia has never attacked a country within Nato, which includes Poland. Nato’s collective defence pact means that an attack on one member constitutes an attack on all.

In Wednesday’s interview, Prime Minister Shmyhal was asked about a recent claim by Republican House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul that members of his own party were being “infected” by Russian propaganda.

Mr Shmyhal said: “We should understand that disinformation and propaganda is influencing here in the United States on many people, in European Union on many people, such as in Ukraine.”

Opposition from the right wing of the Republican party has blocked potential assistance to Ukraine for months.

Some of those lawmakers have objected to sending tens of billions of dollars in aid overseas, without first passing funds for US-Mexico border security.

These conservatives have also dismissed as smears any suggestion that they could be Kremlin dupes.

President Joe Biden said in a statement on Wednesday he would sign the package into law immediately once passed by Congress “to send a message to the world: We stand with our friends”.

Ukraine is critically dependent on weapon supplies from the US and the West to keep fighting Russia, which has superior numbers and an abundance of artillery ammunition.

ukraine pm warns of third world war if russia wins

Ukraine gunner in action in an undisclosed location in Ukraine this week

Months of congressional impasse have already had profound effects on the battlefield.

Ukraine has found itself outmanned and outgunned and forced into retreat because of ammunition rationing and falling morale.

In February, it retreated from Avdiivka, a town near occupied Donetsk that it had held since the conflict began in 2014.

Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, a general overseeing the withdrawal, cited a 10-to-one artillery ammunition advantage for his enemies and said pulling back after months of fighting was “the only correct solution”.

President Zelensky blamed an “artificial deficit of weapons” as he made urgent appeals for more military aid to avoid a “catastrophic” situation.

President Biden has cited “dwindling supplies as a result of congressional inaction” as a reason for the retreat.

Avdiivka’s loss was the heaviest for Ukraine since its troops pulled out of Bakhmut in May 2023.

Both came after months of attritional warfare in which Russian forces levelled buildings with massed artillery and poured waves of troops into the frontline.

General Sir Richard Barrons, a former commander of the UK’s Joint Forces Command, recently stated he feared that Ukraine could face defeat this year unless it was given the weapons and ammunition it needed to secure its lines.

“We are seeing Russia batter away at the front line, employing a five-to-one advantage in artillery, ammunition, and a surplus of people,” he said.

“Ukraine may come to feel it can’t win. And when it gets to that point, why will people want to fight and die?”

Both sides have suffered heavy losses in the battles but mounting casualties have left Ukraine, unlike Russia, with a shortage of manpower.

The government earlier this month lowered the age of conscription from 27 to 25 in an effort to raise hundreds of thousands of new recruits.

President Zelensky has said 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since 2022. US officials, however, believe at least 70,000 have died and many more are injured.

A BBC investigation calculates that at least 50,000 Russian troops have been killed. Tens of thousands are believed to have been injured.

Russia has transformed its industrial base into a wartime economy – spending 40% of its national budget on armaments while striking deals with Iran and North Korea for ammunition, missiles and drones.

ukraine pm warns of third world war if russia wins

OTHER NEWS

16 minutes ago

Travis Kelce responds to Harrison Butker's commencement address

16 minutes ago

Newly-renamed Brigitte Mabandla Justice College to help build SA legal sector

16 minutes ago

Stranger asks woman 'when she is having kids' and response leaves her horrified

16 minutes ago

Bruno Fernandes reveals he wanted to join another Premier League club before Man Utd

16 minutes ago

Agony again for Leinster as Toulouse claim their 6th Champions Cup crown

16 minutes ago

Nathan Lane Says Timon And Pumbaa First Sang ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight?’ — But Elton John Nixed It

17 minutes ago

Buttler knock guides England to 23-run victory over Pakistan

20 minutes ago

Thousands of demonstrators gather in Mallorca to protest against 'excessive tourism' which has inflated property prices, driven up the cost of living and created traffic chaos

20 minutes ago

Chinese NYPD cop fired for allegedly spying for Chinese Communist Party: docs

21 minutes ago

Tennis-Osaka hopes dedication to clay pays off at Roland Garros

21 minutes ago

Lib Dems target Tory seats by highlighting taxes on pensioners

21 minutes ago

Crusaders’ home crowd roars for Hotham

21 minutes ago

Security forces attempt to free US Vessel stuck on Ashdod beach

21 minutes ago

IPL 2024 final, KKR vs SRH: Four unmissable facts headlined by rare chance of an Australian hat-trick

21 minutes ago

Shooting 64 brightens outlook of Gary Woodland, who wonders if he came back too early after brain surgery

21 minutes ago

How Netflix’s Moses Docudrama Managed To Offend Both Egyptians And Israelis

21 minutes ago

Erik ten Hag masterminds FA Cup final upset over Man City in his last Man Utd game

21 minutes ago

Underrated Heroes In The Witcher Series

21 minutes ago

Girl with peanut allergy ‘thrown off flight by captain’

21 minutes ago

EFF promises R1,200 for child support grants, R4,000 for pensioners, colleges, free education, land and jobs at Polokwane rally

21 minutes ago

Christian Horner makes grim Monaco GP prediction for Max Verstappen after surprise grid slot

21 minutes ago

Palm Beach housekeepers are raking in $150,000 salaries as the rich flock to Florida, report says

21 minutes ago

More NSW school students relying on disability provisions to finish exams, graduate high school

21 minutes ago

Julius Malema's rally revelation: South Africans trapped in financial apartheid

21 minutes ago

Aliyah Boston Demands Protection From Fans After Indiana Fever Win

21 minutes ago

Hundreds sick with norovirus, say cruise passengers

21 minutes ago

‘More holes than a Swiss cheese’: Union fury at more Labour workers’ rights changes

22 minutes ago

The car is like a go-kart: Max Verstappen bemoans Red Bull’s struggles in Monaco

24 minutes ago

Surrey eyeing BCHL title after blanking Penticton in Game 5

26 minutes ago

9 to 5 star Dabney Coleman's cause of death at age 92 is revealed a week after his passing

26 minutes ago

NFL star announces shock retirement at just 29 after suffering a 'terrifying' blood clot

27 minutes ago

RM, Twenty One Pilots, Zach Bryan & More: What's Your Favorite New Music Release of the Week? Vote!

27 minutes ago

Overwatch 2 Could Kill Two Birds With One Stone With This OW1 Feature

27 minutes ago

Bereaved families demand new PM for tougher cycling laws

28 minutes ago

Agnez Mo, Sammy From The Rose & More Reveal Who Their Favorite Asian Artists Are | Billboard News

28 minutes ago

Vanessa Hudgens Shares How Winning ‘The Masked Singer’ Helped Her Grow as a Vocalist

28 minutes ago

Putin open to Ukraine ceasefire with conditions: Reuters report

29 minutes ago

Sociedad win is big boost for Atletico, Lino says

32 minutes ago

Tom Holland waves to the huge crowds of waiting fans ahead of Romeo and Juliet show - after they revealed the extreme measures they've gone to in order to see their idol

32 minutes ago

The Chase star Mark Labbett splits from his television presenter girlfriend Hayley Palmer just a week after celebrating their one-year anniversary

Kênh khám phá trải nghiệm của giới trẻ, thế giới du lịch