As the U.S. continues to send billions to prop up Ukraine’s defense against Russian invaders, President Volodymyr Zelensky is challenging the growing number of Americans who question that support.
On the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion, the Ukrainian leader responded to a question about American voters becoming less supportive of aiding Ukraine. Zelensky first thanked Congress, President Joe Biden, the American media, and the American people for supporting his country in its fight against Russia. But then the Ukrainian leader changed his tone and warned the U.S. that if his country loses its support, America will no longer be the leader of the world.
“And that percentage of Americans as you mentioned is increasing, I can tell them only one thing,” Zelensky charged. “If they don’t change their opinion, if they don’t understand us, if they don’t support Ukraine, they will lose NATO … and they will lose their leadership position in the world.”
“Are American children any different than ours?” he asked. “Don’t Americans enjoy the same things as we do? I don’t think we’re that different.”
Zelensky is asked about opinion polls showing Americans think they’re giving too much to Ukraine: “If they don’t change their opinion, if they don’t support Ukraine, they will lose NATO and they will lose their leadership position in the world.” pic.twitter.com/bNbB3kAbNx
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 24, 2023
Zelensky’s comments to the American public come days after Biden took a surprise trip to Kyiv to meet with Zelensky and pledge another $500 million to the war-torn country. Biden promised “unwavering support” to Ukraine during his visit and vowed to back Zelesnky for “as long as it takes.”
“One year later, Kyiv stands and Ukraine stands, democracy stands,” Biden said. “The Americans stand with you and the world stands with you.”
Since Russia’s invasion on February 24, 2022, the U.S. has pledged nearly $200 billion in assistance to Ukraine, including weapons, ammunition, long-range missiles, and tanks.
On the day of Biden’s visit, Zelensky warned that World War III is inevitable if China allies with Russia. The comments came two days after U.S. intelligence officials revealed that they believe China is considering sending lethal aid to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces.
“For us, it is important that China does not support the Russian Federation in this war,” the Ukrainian president told German daily paper Die Welt, according to Reuters. “In fact, I would like it to be on our side. At the moment, however, I don’t think it’s possible.”
“But I do see an opportunity for China to make a pragmatic assessment of what is happening here,” Zelensky added. “Because if China allies itself with Russia, there will be a world war, and I do think that China is aware of that.”