It’s a mistake to suggest that the conflict between Kiev and Moscow is only a bilateral struggle, Aleksey Danilov says
The head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council has claimed a third world war is already underway, with the Moscow-Kiev conflict pulling in countries far beyond the region.
Speaking at the Kiev Security Forum on Tuesday, Aleksey Danilov argued that NATO needs Ukraine as a member, as global turbulence is set to continue. “We’re going to strengthen the alliance,” he insisted.
“If somebody thinks that World War III hasn’t started then it’s a huge mistake. It has already begun. It had been underway in a hybrid period for some time and has now entered an active phase,” he said.
Sitting on stage beside former CIA Director General David Petraeus, Danilov said that “if somebody thinks that it [the conflict in Ukraine] is about settling the scores between Kiev and Moscow then it’s a mistake. Things are much more complicated.”
Petraeus also highlighted the scale of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, saying: “I haven’t seen anything like it since World War II,” he said.
“The Russians are not particularly impressive in terms of knowledge or performance on the battlefield, but they have created a rather outstanding defense system, and it is quite difficult to punch it through,” he claimed.
On Tuesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said that during the three months of its counteroffensive, Ukraine has lost some 66,000 troops and 7,600 pieces of heavy weaponry while failing to achieve any significant gains. Kiev has so far claimed the capture of several small villages, but they are some distance from the main Russian defense lines. Speaking about the Ukrainian counteroffensive earlier this week, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin insisted that it “is not stalled; it is a failure.”
Moscow has been saying for months that the fighting in Ukraine is a “proxy war” waged by the US and its NATO allies against Russia. It warned that the supply of arms and training to Kiev’s troops and intelligence-sharing means that Western nations are already de-facto parties to the conflict.
Russia, which views NATO as a hostile bloc and vigorously opposes its eastward expansion, has also highlighted Kiev’s aspirations of joining the US-led military alliance among the main reasons for launching its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.