Shmyhal: World War III if the US Congress does not give aid to Ukraine, we need the money yesterday

In an interview with the BBC, Schmihal expressed "cautious optimism" that American lawmakers will adopt the fiercely contested measure - $61 billion earmarked for Kiev

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Schmihal, Photo: Reuters
Schmihal, Photo: Reuters
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal has said there will be a "third world war" if Ukraine loses its conflict with Russia, and called on the US Congress to pass a long-delayed foreign aid bill.

In an interview with the BBC, Shmyhal expressed "cautious optimism" that American lawmakers will adopt the hotly contested measure - $61 billion earmarked for Kiev.

The House of Representatives is scheduled 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 on Wednesday, Schmihal said of US security aid: "We need this money yesterday, not tomorrow, not today. If we don't protect... Ukraine will fall. So the global, global security system will be destroyed ... and the whole world will have to find ... a new security system. Or there will be many conflicts, many such wars, and at the end of the day, it could lead to World War III."

The BBC reports that this is not the first time that Ukraine has issued such an alarming warning about the consequences of its potential defeat.

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

However, Russian officials have derided such claims as Western intimidation.

Last month, President Vladimir Putin dismissed suggestions that Russia might one day invade Eastern Europe as "complete nonsense".

Russia has never attacked a country within NATO, including Poland.

The NATO collective defense pact means that an attack on one member is an attack on all.

In the interview, Schmihal was asked about Republican House Foreign Affairs Speaker Michael McCall's recent claim that members of his party were "infected" by Russian propaganda.

"We should understand that disinformation and propaganda are affecting many people here in the US, in the European Union, as well as in Ukraine," said the Prime Minister of Ukraine.

The right-wing opposition Republican Party has blocked potential aid to Ukraine for months.

Some of those lawmakers opposed sending tens of billions of dollars in aid abroad without first deciding on funding for US-Mexico border security. These conservatives also dismissed as slander any suggestion that he could be duped by the Kremlin.

US President Joseph Biden said in a statement on Wednesday that he would sign the package immediately after it was passed by Congress "to send a message to the world: We stand with our friends."

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

Months of congressional gridlock have already had profound effects on the battlefield. Ukraine was outgunned and outgunned and forced to retreat due to ammunition rationing and falling morale. In February, it withdrew from Avdiyevka, a town near occupied Donetsk that it had held since the beginning of the conflict in 2014.

Oleksandar Tarnavski, the general who oversaw the retreat, cited a ten-to-one artillery ammunition advantage in favor of the enemy and said retreat after months of fighting was "the only correct solution."

Zelenskiy blamed the "artificial lack of weapons" as he urgently called for more military aid to avoid a "catastrophic" situation.

Biden cited "depletion of supplies as a result of congressional inaction" as the reason for the withdrawal. The loss of Avdiyevka was Ukraine's worst since its troops withdrew from Bakhmut in May 2023. Both came after months of fighting in which Russian forces flattened buildings with massive artillery and brought waves of troops to the front line.

General Sir Richard Barons, the former commander of the UK Joint Forces Command, recently said he feared Ukraine could face defeat this year if it is not given the weapons and ammunition it needs to secure its lines.

"We see Russia striking on the front line, using a five-to-one advantage in artillery, munitions and surplus men. Ukraine may feel that it cannot win. And when it comes to that point, why will people want to fight and die? ", he said.

Both sides suffered heavy losses in the fighting.

Zelensky said that 31.000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since 2022. American officials, however, believe that at least 70.000 were killed and many more injured.

A BBC investigation calculated that at least 50.000 Russian soldiers were killed.

Tens of thousands are believed to have been injured.

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

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