If Ukraine loses the war, World War III could be on the cards

Journalist and correspondent María Senovilla took to the microphones of "De cara al mundo" to analyse the course of the Ukrainian war, which depends on the help of the United States 

El presidente estadounidense Joe Biden se reúne con el presidente ucraniano Volodymyr Zelensky en la Oficina Oval de la Casa Blanca en Washington, DC, el 21 de septiembre de 2023
AFP/JIM WATSON
US President Joe Biden meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 21, 2023 - AFP/JIM WATSON

The journalist and correspondent on Ukrainian territory María Senovilla detailed the most important aspects of the war in Ukraine on the programme "De cara al mundo" on Onda Madrid

The European Council spent two days deciding its position on the conflicts in Gaza, with the confrontation between Iran and Israel, and Ukraine, where they noted the need to unblock aid to the Ukrainians, especially in terms of anti-aircraft systems. 

The talk of US aid raises the tone of desperate Ukrainian politicians, doesn't it? 

Both Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba have been raising the tone of their messages for weeks, demanding that the military aid that the US has blocked in Congress be reactivated as soon as possible. Indeed, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmihal warned that if Ukraine loses this war, we would be heading straight for World War III. 

He used these words in an interview he gave to the BBC in Washington, in a tone of utter despair. The vote to unblock that military and economic aid package, worth no less than 61 billion euros, was on Saturday, and I can assure you, here on the ground, the whole country is watching because the full-scale war is at its most critical moment since the Russian invasion began more than two years ago. 

Shmihal said Ukraine needs this US help yesterday, not today or tomorrow. And between the indiscriminate attacks on cities and their civilian population and the very slow but steady advance, especially on the eastern front lines, the Ukrainian armed forces are exhausted. 

AFP/FADEL SENNA - El ministro de Asuntos Exteriores de Ucrania, Dmytro Kuleba, en una conferencia de prensa conjunta con su homólogo marroquí en Rabat el 22 de mayo de 2023
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba at a joint press conference with his Moroccan counterpart in Rabat on 22 May 2023 - AFP/FADEL SENNA

Maria, the Ukrainians have been able to repel most of the latest Russian attacks and have even shot down a plane 

Even so, the attack has resulted in eight dead in Dnipro, one of the missiles they failed to intercept hit a five-storey residential building very close to the Dnipro train station. Dnipro is one of the largest Ukrainian cities and is currently hosting tens of thousands of internally displaced Ukrainians who have fled the Donbas area because the Dnipetrovsk region is right next to it. 

It is a city that is quite overpopulated right now and they have attacked the centre and also a residential area. As I said, there are eight dead and rescuers are still working in the rubble in case more bodies turn up. 

Operarios públicos de Kiev trabajan para reparar el socavón que ha dejado los restos de un misil ruso - PHOTO/MARÍA SENOVILLA
Civil servants in Kiev work to repair a sinkhole left by the wreckage of a Russian missile - PHOTO/MARÍA SENOVILLA

The night has been busy because there are Telegram accounts that are managed by Ukrainian radar operators, military operators, in which they are informing when Russian bombers take off, where they are going, also if drones and missiles enter Ukrainian airspace and what route they are taking, so that you can follow an attack live. 

It's war in real time, almost a minute and absolutely terrible result, because we are talking about announced bombings where people are moving every day in Ukraine. But the fact that there are these accounts and that you can follow the attacks live from the moment a bomber takes off until it enters Ukrainian airspace or drops bombs, hours go by. In the last few hours, for example, the alarms, the first messages warning of the take-off of these Russian planes, were launched before 12 midnight and finally the bombers took off at 5 in the morning. 

To give you an idea of how the Ukrainian population lives those nights when it is announced that there is going to be an attack and it is told live. It is an absolutely terrible psychosis, especially for families with small children. 

Anguish and a lot of tragedy this week because at least 17 people have died in Chernibev in a Russian attack in response to the Ukrainian shelling of the Crimean military airfield. The difference is that Chernibev was against a residential building. 

Like all the attacks the Russians have been launching against Ukraine since the beginning of the year. Indeed, Chernibev was the biggest attack this week, with eight dead last week, and the images were terrifying. 

A high-rise building was an entire residential area, there were also hospitals, educational institutions and the missile caused terrible damage. In addition to the 17 dead, more than 80 people were injured. Most of them had to be hospitalised and it has to be said that the attack was indeed in response to this Ukrainian attack that hit the Crimean military airfield, but it was a military installation. 

ASSOCIATED PRESS/ANDRIY DUBCHAK - Un soldado ucraniano se ve en la línea de separación de los rebeldes prorrusos en la región de Donetsk, Ucrania
A Ukrainian soldier is seen at the disengagement line of pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk region, Ukraine - ASSOCIATED PRESS/ANDRIY DUBCHAK

Zelensky's army managed to destroy four Russian missile launchers, an S-400 anti-aircraft system, as well as several radar stations and an aerospace surveillance post in Crimea. Putin's response, however, was swift, targeting the Ukrainian civilian population, as he has been doing for months.  After the attack, NATO's Secretary General called for more air defence systems for Ukraine, as did the Foreign Ministers who were meeting at the G7 summit in Capri.

They were meeting on Wednesday, it was just after the attack, and all raised their voices a little to condemn again the Russian invasion and to recognise that Ukraine needs more help to be able to resist. It remains to be seen when that aid will materialise, if it comes, and whether it is enough to stop the Russian aggression that in recent months has escalated in an absolutely terrible way.