Don’t let rising bills stop you standing up to Putin – if Ukraine falls Vlad will storm across Europe, warns Zelensky | The Sun

PRESIDENT Volodymyr Zelensky has gravely warned of the risk of an all-out world war if the West fails to stand up to Putin's aggression.

The Ukrainian leader, 44, said the threat of the deadly war spilling over into Europe is "incomparable" to the looming energy crisis facing Brits.

Zelensky urged world leaders not to let the cost of living crisis brought on by the Russian squeeze on energy supply stop them from standing up to Putin.

Ukraine's first lady Olena Zelenska said that while Brits were counting the pennies in their bank accounts, Ukraine was counting bodies as the war rages on.

A standoff over Russian gas and oil exports ramped up last week as Moscow vowed to keep its main gas pipeline to Germany shut and G7 countries announced a planned price cap on Russian oil exports.

The energy fight is a fallout from Putin's six-month invasion of Ukraine – underscoring the deep rift between Moscow and the West as Europe prepares itself for the cold winter months ahead.

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Zelensky admitted standing up to Russia would be "painful" – but added: "If you are not willing to lose something, then you will have even graver risks to face."

The dad-of-two also warned a "miracle" was needed to stop nuclear armageddon at Europe's biggest nuclear power plant as fierce fighting continues at the site.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, Zelensky said Putin's troops could storm across Europe if world leaders falter in their support of Ukraine over the cost of living crisis.

"I believe that the global society should be afraid of this fatigue," he said.

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"They should be afraid that Ukrainians would be weaker, that we will not be able to stand strong because Russia would definitely continue.

"They would go to Poland and the Baltic countries. And they have to analyse what will happen… what would Nato countries do?

"There would be a fully-fledged war on the European continent.

"We are talking about a global war. So in today’s situation, the resilience of Ukraine is important for the world.

"The global community can’t afford to lose."

And Zelensky's wife Olena said that while the rest of Europe has been thrown into an energy crisis, Ukraine is still at the forefront of Russian attacks.

"I understand the situation is very tough," she told the BBC.

"But let me recall that at the time of the Covid epidemic, and it's still with us, when there were price hikes, Ukraine was affected as well.

"The prices are going up in Ukraine as well. But in addition our people get killed.

"So when you start counting pennies on your bank account or in your pocket, we do the same and count our casualties."

Zelenska's words echo one of the final messages from Boris Johnson amid grim warnings about soaring energy bills this winter for Brits.

During his final visit to Kyiv as prime minister last month, the PM said: "If we're paying in our energy bills for the evils of Vladimir Putin, the people of Ukraine are paying in their blood."

Zelensky claimed Putin is following in the footsteps of Adolf Hitler – and begged world leaders not to underestimate the Kremlin.

When you start counting pennies on your bank account or in your pocket, we do the same and count our casualties

He said: "From Belarus, they are using the same routes and directions as Nazi Germany.

"Now some of the European leaders, who might think that Russia will not bombard their country, who could be comforted by that? You can’t say this is not going to happen.

"Ten years ago, who would have said that Russia would be torturing people and raping women? It’s impossible to think, it’s unimaginable. But now, that is the case.

"You shouldn’t trust the future. You have to tackle the problems now."

Zelensky's impassioned plea comes amid heavy fighting at Europe's biggest nuclear power plant.

Deteriorating conditions amid the constant bombing have sparked fears of a radiation disaster.

Ukraine's state nuclear company said only one of Zaporizhzhia's six reactors now remains in operation and the plant is relying on a reserve line to supply power to Ukraine's grid.

Zelensky said a "miracle" was needed to avert a disaster at the site.

And he wants military forces from both sides to withdraw due to the growing threat to the reactors.

He said: "It would destroy everything, not only in Ukraine but in Europe. We need to have some sort of miracle."

Moscow has blamed Western sanctions and technical issues for energy disruptions – while European countries have accused Russia of weaponising supplies as part of its military invasion.

Kyiv and Moscow have traded accusations about attacks on the Zaporizhzhia plant, which is still operated by Ukrainian workers.

An IAEA mission toured the plant on Thursday and some experts have remained there before the release of a report by the United Nations nuclear watchdog in the coming days.

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The inspectors said one reactor was still producing electricity "for cooling and other essential safety functions at the site and for households, factories and others through the grid".

The plant said the fifth reactor was switched off "as a result of constant shelling by Russian occupation forces".

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