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Zelensky: World War III “may have already started”

  • Oriana Gonzalez
  • Shawna Chen

World War III “may have already started,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday in an interview with NBC News.

Why it matters: Despite Zelensky’s plea for the U.S. to do more to stop Russia’s invasion, President Biden has said he will not send fighter jets to Ukraine because “we will not fight a Third World War.” The attacks have killed at least 691 civilians, according to the UN.

What he’s saying: “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,” Zelensky said.

  • “And we’ve seen this 80 years ago, when the second World War had started … nobody would be able to predict when the full-scale war would start.”
  • The war puts the “whole civilization at stake,” he added.

The big picture: Zelensky called on Biden to “be the leader of the world” in a virtual address to Congress on Wednesday, invoking some of the U.S.’s darkest days in a plea for help.

  • Repeating his request for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, he urged the U.S. to impose new sanctions “every week until the Russian military machine stops,” blacklist all Russian politicians and demand all American companies leave the Russian market, Axios’ Zachary Basu reports.

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