Situation in Donbas region ‘very difficult,’ Zelenskyy says; civilization may not survive Putin’s war, Soros warns

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Civilization Can’t Survive Putin’s War in Ukraine, Says George Soros

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Liberal billionaire George Soros has said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could be seen as the starting point of the Third World War.

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At his annual dinner between the World Economic Forum on Tuesday evening, Soros said the course of history has changed dramatically since the last event in Davos, Switzerland.

“Russia invaded Ukraine. It shook Europe to its core,” he told the audience.

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“The European Union was established to prevent this from happening. Even when the fighting stops, as it should eventually, the situation will never return to the status quo. In fact, the Russian invasion of the world War III may begin, and our civilization cannot escape it.”

Read the whole story here: Civilization won’t survive Putin’s war in Ukraine, says Soros, warns of global depression

— Matt Clinch

Zelensky says Russia is putting everything in the fight for the Donbass

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia is using everything at its disposal in the fight for four cities in the eastern Donbass region.

“The situation in the Donbass is very difficult now,” Zelensky said in his nightly address to the nation. “Practically the full force of the Russian army, whatever they have left, is being thrown there on the offensive. Liman, Popasna, Svyerodonetsk, Slaviask – the occupiers want to destroy everything there.”

Zelensky said that the Ukrainian military is fighting back, but “our people will have to spend time and a lot more effort to overcome their advantage in the amount of equipment and weapons.”

He told the people of Ukraine that they should be proud that they had stopped Russia for three months in a war that many in Russia and the West expected to last three days.

– The Associated Press

NATO chief warns Russia that an attack on an ally ‘will trigger a full response from the entire coalition’

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that while the 30-member military alliance is not placing troops in Ukraine, “a Russian attack on a NATO ally would trigger a full-blown response from the entire coalition.”

“It is deterrence,” Stoltenberg said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Its purpose is not to incite conflict, but to prevent conflict and maintain peace.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, NATO has increased its military presence in the eastern parts of the alliance, Stoltenberg said.

“We now have 40,000 troops in NATO command. We have more naval, airborne capabilities, especially in the eastern side of the alliance, and we have a million soldiers on alert,” he said. He added: “This is to send a very clear message to Moscow and leaves no room for miscalculations or misunderstandings.”

— Amanda Maciasi

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage:

Russia’s debt default risk rises; Zelensky talks about more aid from EU Michel

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