In an appearance with NBC on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggested Russia may have already initiated World War III.
The consequence of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine is still up in the air. However, it’s possible the choice set the world on a course toward a massive worldwide war, Zelenskyy said.
These remarks came when he was asked if he understood President Joe Biden’s fears about not increasing tensions with, or trying to provoke, Moscow.
The Ukraine president then went on to say the result of this conflict would determine the fate of “the whole civilization.”
EXCLUSIVE: @LesterHoltNBC asks Zelenskyy whether he understands Biden’s concerns about triggering WWIII. Watch his response below and more on @NBCNightlyNews tonight pic.twitter.com/dyqsSXwvu0
— Fallon M. Gallagher (@falgallagher) March 16, 2022
Zelenskyy Praises the Ukrainian People
Zelenskyy said the Ukrainian people are “unconquerable,” even if Russian forces seize control of major cities, such as the capital Kyiv, in the country’s east.
Russian soldiers may be in control of the territory. However, they will not be able to take away the dignity and affection of the Ukrainian people for their nation, he said.
In Zelenskyy’s words, “our people have clearly shown this. Even those places that were razed to the ground by Russian artillery were left relatively untouched by the Russians.”
On Wednesday morning, Zelenskyy delivered a virtual speech to both houses of Congress, reinforcing his call for NATO to enforce a no-fly zone above Ukraine.
He pleaded for more robust help from Congress and President Joe Biden, describing the invasion as a “horror beyond anything Europe has witnessed in over 80 years.”
“I’ve had a dream. I may say I have a desire, a need to defend our skies.” Invoking Martin Luther King Jr. as an example, he addressed Congress.
The phrases “I have a dream” imply the same thing as “I need your choice, your aid,” which means precisely the same thing as “I need your help.”
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According to a leaked recording of Zelenskyy conversing with military officers, the hesitance to implement the no-fly zone prompted him to state on Tuesday he does not see an “open door” enabling Ukraine to enter NATO.
⚡️⚡️Russia warns Bosnia and says it will also face the same fate as Ukraine if it decides to be part of NATO
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) March 17, 2022
One of the arguments Putin used to legitimize his invasion was Ukraine’s claimed intention to become a member of the alliance. One of his requirements for bringing the conflict to a close is a vow to abandon efforts to join NATO.
Ukraine deposed a pro-Kremlin government in 2014. Putin is motivated by a desire to prevent Ukraine and his ex-Soviet neighbors from being more closely connected with the west.
In 2014, Putin seized Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea that had previously been a part of Ukraine.
On Wednesday, President Biden pledged $800 million in fresh military assistance to Ukraine, comprising 800 anti-aircraft equipment and 9,000 anti-armor devices.
However, the president ruled out deploying fighter fighters, a request that Zelenskyy made to Congress as an option to declare a no-fly zone.