Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the Russian invasion could lead to the start of World War III
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr
Zelenskyysaid he believes World War IIImay have already begun.
- Russian President Vladimir
Putinlaunched a full-scale invasion of Ukrainein late February.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said there's a possibility that Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine could lead to the start of World War III.
"Nobody knows whether it may have already started. And what is the possibility of this war if Ukraine will fall, in case Ukraine will? It's very hard to say," Zelenskyy told "NBC Nightly
On February 24, Putin launched a "special military operation" in Ukraine, prompting global concern that the newfound violence in Europe would lead to the third World War — nearly 77 years after the second ended.
Some have argued — including former President Donald Trump — that if the US doesn't get involved, Putin's war on Ukraine could expand into World War III, while others — including President Joe
A 36-year-old Ukrainian medic named Mila Makarova told Insider's Julia Beil and Nathan Rennolds, however, that the real war started in 2014 and that she didn't understand what the sudden concern was over risking World War III. She argued that, for Ukrainians, the war isn't new.
While Putin's end goal is unclear and the success of the Russian invasion remains in the air, Zelenskyy said in the NBC interview that "in this case, the whole civilization is at stake."
Zelensky added that smaller neighboring countries, formerly part of the Soviet Union, "are watching very attentively to the response to such a treacherous invasion."
As of Tuesday, at least 726 Ukrainian were killed and nearly 1,200 injured in the Russian attack, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which estimates that the actual count could be much higher.
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