Billionaire George Soros has claimed the conflict in Ukraine could grow into a war that could spark WWIII and end civilisation as we know it.
The 91-year-old Hungarian-American made the claims over Russia's invasion of Ukraine at a World Economic Forum dinner, where Soros addressed attendees in Switzerland.
The philanthropist claimed that the West's only hope was to "defeat Putin as soon as possible" and that the invasion had "shaken Europe to its core".
Vladimir Putin's forces entered Ukraine on February 24 and since then, a number of notable figures have speculated over the future of not just the war but Europe.
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Soros is the latest to release his opinion on the invasion of Ukraine, saying: "The invasion may have been the beginning of the Third World War and our civilisation may not survive it.
"We must mobilise all our resources to bring the war to an early end. The best and perhaps only way to preserve our civilisation is to defeat Putin as soon as possible.
"Even when the fighting stops, as it eventually must, the situation will never revert to where it was before."
The billionaire also warned that other issues had taken a back seat to the war in Ukraine, saying: "Other issues that concern all of humanity – fighting pandemics and climate change, avoiding nuclear war, maintaining global institutions – have had to take a back seat to that struggle and that's why I say civilisation may not survive."
Soros commended Ukraine for battling for the West's values, adding: "I think Ukraine today is rendering a tremendous service to Europe and to the western world and to open society and our survival, because they are fighting our fight.
"They have a really good chance of winning and we must give them all the support that they ask for."
He also claimed that "repressive regimes" like "China and Russia " are "the greatest threat to an open society," The Mirror reported.
Soros added: "They rule by intimidation and as a consequence they make mind-boggling mistakes."
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