American oligarch of Hungarian origin George Soros believes Ukraine will win the war, and it will be a “positive shock” for global relations. The billionaire made the predictions in a new column in Project Syndicate, which is partly funded by his own Open Society Foundations.
In the column, Soros borrows a term from U.S. economic historian Adam Tooze, writing of a “polycrisis” in the world and pointing to the meteoric rise of artificial intelligence, climate change and the war in Ukraine.
Regarding Ukraine, the controversial billionaire states that “the actual outcome (of the Ukraine war) is much better than could have been expected. The Ukrainian army put up heroic resistance and, with strong support from the U.S. and Europe, turned things around. The Russian army proved to be a paper tiger, badly led and thoroughly corrupt.”
With regard to Ukraine’s expected counter-offensive, according to the billionaire, Ukraine is ready to launch a counterattack as soon as the promised Western weapons — in particular the F-16 fighter jets authorized by U.S. President Joe Biden — arrive.
According to the article, Soros believes the counterattack will be a success and he outlines why:
“I believe the counterattack will be successful. The target will be the Crimean Peninsula, the home base of the Russian Navy. By destroying the already damaged land bridge with Russia, Ukraine could turn a strategic asset into a strategic liability, because Crimea has no water. With the land bridge destroyed, Crimea will depend on Ukraine for water,” he writes.
He further states that “the end of the war in Ukraine will come as a positive shock for the world,” arguing that “(a) Russian defeat in Ukraine, and a lessening of Sino-American tensions, may create room for world leaders to focus on fighting climate change, which is threatening to destroy our civilization.”
But he also muses on the emergence of AI and its potentially malicious powers, admitting he does not have a solution to the problem: “I am instinctively opposed to AI, but I don’t know how it can be stopped,” he writes, adding that regulating AI is becoming a pressing issue ahead of the 2024 U.S. elections.
“There will be general elections in the United States in 2024 – and, most likely, in the United Kingdom as well – and AI will undoubtedly play an important role, one which is unlikely to be anything but dangerous. AI is very good at producing disinformation and deep fakes and there will be many malicious actors. What can we do about that? I don’t have the answer, but I hope this issue will receive the attention it deserves,” Soros writes.
He ends his column with the cryptic remark that given the “narrow and winding path” to a positive outcome, “it is appropriate to use a question mark in asking whether democracy can survive the polycrisis.”