Former President Donald Trump has warned that the war in Ukraine may be heading toward a “World War III” because “stupid people that don’t have a clue” are saying “exactly the wrong thing” to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. He demanded immediate talks for a peaceful end to the conflict.
“We have to be very smart and very nimble. We have to know what to say, what to do. And we are saying exactly the wrong thing. We’ll end up in a World War III,” Trump said at a rally in Mesa, Arizona, on Sunday.
“We must demand immediate negotiation of a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine, or we will end up in World War III and there will never be a war like this,” the former president said. “We will never have had a war like this and that’s all because of stupid people that don’t have a clue. And it’s also because of the kind of weaponry that’s available today.”
Trump’s observations came after President Joe Biden said last week that Putin was “not joking” when he warned about the potential use of nuclear weapons, raising the “prospect of Armageddon.”
“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” Biden said, citing the 1962 standoff with the Soviet Union.
“We’ve got a guy I know fairly well,” Biden said about Putin. “He’s not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming.”
Announcing his decree for military mobilization, Putin had blamed the West for pushing Kyiv to shift the military action into Russian territory, and in a veiled nuclear threat, warned Russia “has various weapons of destruction, more advanced than NATO countries.”
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had earlier formally ruled out talks with Russia after Moscow’s decision to illegally declare the four regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia as part of Russia.
Kyiv believes Moscow’s sudden willingness to engage in peace negotiations is because of its failures on the battlefield and a ruse designed to allow the Kremlin to maintain control over the annexed parts of Ukraine, while it rebuilds its shattered military and prepares to invade more areas of Ukraine.
Responding to Zelensky’s decision, Russia said it will wait for Ukraine to sit down for talks on ending the conflict, noting that it may not happen until a new president takes office in Kyiv.