Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a stark warning on Sunday during an interview with the renowned US show “60 Minutes,” where he discussed a range of critical global issues. Among his concerns, he implied that a Third World War may be on the horizon, an escalation of the ongoing Russian-Ukraine conflict.
Zelensky, 45, is set to visit the United States to address the UN General Assembly this week. During the interview, he touched on various topics, including the threat of nuclear war, the upcoming 2024 US presidential elections, and more.
In the interview, which aired on Sunday, Zelensky voiced his apprehensions, stating, “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 emphasized the significance of Ukraine’s struggle, asserting, “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 expressed his gratitude to the United States, citing the substantial financial support provided, amounting to roughly $70 billion for Ukraine’s war effort.
“The United States of America [is] supporting Ukraine financially, and I’m grateful for this,” Zelensky stated. “I just think they’re not supporting only Ukraine. If Ukraine falls, Putin will surely go further.”
He raised concerns about the potential expansion of Russian aggression, asking, “What will the United States of America do when Putin reaches the Baltic states? When he reaches the Polish border? He will.”
Responding to questions about whether the funding is sufficient to bring an end to the conflict, Zelensky admitted that he did not have a definitive answer, adding, “The whole world [has to] decide whether we want to stop Putin or whether we want to start the beginning of a world war.”
Regarding the threat of nuclear war, Zelensky warned that Putin might exploit this danger to sow discord in the United States and Europe, stating, “I think that he’s going to continue threatening. He is waiting for the United States to become less stable. He thinks that’s going to happen during the US 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.”
Despite concerns and challenges, Zelensky expressed his appreciation for the support received from President Biden and the United States, even though he indicated that some military assistance had not been promptly delivered.
The interview with President Zelensky sheds light on the complex and volatile situation in Ukraine and its potential global ramifications, underscoring the urgency of diplomatic efforts to address the ongoing conflict.