Hungarian-born US investor and philanthropist George Soros.
Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images
A Ukrainian victory in the war with Russia would result in the collapse of Moscow’s empire, billionaire fund manager George Soros told the Munich Security Conference on Thursday.
In a prepared speech, the Hungarian-born investor and founder of the Open Society Foundations advocacy network said that a Third World War must be “avoided at all costs” and that “Europe’s support for Ukraine must be preserved.”
He noted that U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is supplying Ukraine with weapons such as missiles, tanks and ammunition needed to withstand a Russian assault, but found that opposition from the now Republican-led House of Representatives “makes another large bipartisan funding package from the U.S. unlikely.”
Russian private paramilitary contractor Wagner Group has been active on the ground in Ukraine, but its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin recently said current efforts to surround Ukrainian forces in the town of Bakhmut were being impeded by Moscow’s “monstrous bureaucracy,” furthering fissures between Wagner and the Kremlin.
Prigozhin took a two-to-three year outlook on Russia securing control of the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas and said of Bakhmut in a recent interview that “there are many roads out and fewer roads in.”
“It is possible that he [Prigozhin] will succeed, but I consider it unlikely, because the Ukrainian army is putting up strong resistance and once Ukraine can use the weapons it has been promised, the tables will be turned,” Soros said.
“This gives Ukraine a narrow window of opportunity later this Spring, when it receives the promised armaments, to mount a counterattack which would determine the fate of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
Soros also suggested that the countries of the former Soviet Union “can hardly wait” to see Russia defeated in Ukraine, as they wish to “assert their independence.”
“This means that a Ukrainian victory would result in the dissolution of the Russian empire. Russia would no longer pose a threat to Europe and the world,” he said.
“That would be a big change for the better. It would bring huge relief to open societies and create tremendous problems for closed ones.”
Soros acknowledged warnings from Moldovan President Maia Sandu that Russian President Vladimir Putin could be planning an imminent coup d’etat against her country and also warned that this threat “could be executed before the anniversary” of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.