Zelenskyy fears war in Israel, US presidential elections to affect further support for Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed concern that the war between Israel and Hamas could overshadow the war in Ukraine, as competing political agendas and limited resources threaten the flow of Western military aid to Kyiv.
"We already can see the consequences of the international community shifting (attention) because of the tragedy in the Middle East. Only the blind don't recognize this," Zelenskyy told The Associated Press.
Ukrainians understand "that we also need to fight for attention for the full-scale war," he said.
"We must not allow people to forget about the war here," the president said.
According to him, that change in focus could lead to less economic and military assistance for his country, he said. In an apparent attempt to assuage those fears, U.S. and European officials have continued to visit Kyiv since the October 7 attacks in Israel.
The shift still concerns him, Zelenskyy said.
"You see, attention equals help. No attention will mean no help. We fight for every bit of attention. Without attention, there may be weakness in (the U.S.) Congress," he said.
A recent AP poll in the U.S. showed nearly half of Americans think too much is being spent on Ukraine. An increasing number of Republicans are not in favor of sending more aid, and it is not clear if or when a request from the White House for additional aid will be approved by Congress.
When asked about this, Zelenskyy replied bluntly that "the choice of Americans is the choice of Americans."
But he argued that by helping Ukraine, Americans are also helping themselves.
"In the case of Ukraine, if resilience fails today due to lack of aid and shortages of weapons and funding, it will mean that Russia will most likely invade NATO countries. And then the American children will fight," he said.