Ukraine’s president has told Sky News that he is “not interested” in meeting Vladimir Putin for peace talks, describing him as a “nobody” who lives in an “information bubble” and in fact Don’t know what is happening on the battlefield.
In an exclusive interview with Kay Burley, Vladimir Zelensky He also responded to the speculations. Russian I am aggressive Ukraine In the coming weeks, and she recalled when she felt the attack starting last year.
He said he “doesn’t understand who makes the decisions in Russia” and that when Moscow calls for peace, it lies by attacking his country with missiles at night.
“They don’t want any talks, and this was a case before the attack. President Putin made that decision,” Mr Zelenskiy said.
“He doesn’t want negotiations because he doesn’t want peace.
“I believe that Ukraine is just the first step for him. I believe that he is fighting a big war. And now the whole world is helping Ukraine – he is not thinking about it. He is thinking. is, ‘Well, it’s not. Working in Ukraine now but we’ll wait… the world won’t be united, they’ll get tired and I’ll move on’.
“But there will be more actions after Ukraine, there will be other countries, if we fail to endure, I think we will manage, we will have support and we will win.”
Recalling the night of the Russian attack nearly a year ago, he described it as the start of a long, difficult day that has yet to end.
“I remember there were explosions and calls in the night and I said [to my wife], ‘Get ready. You prepare our children and tell them what is going on and be prepared because it will not be safe to stay in the President’s residence. [where we had been living at the time]’.
Asked how close the invading Russian forces had gotten to him, the president said “no one knows.”
“There were some people who were being detained in this district, in this government district, and it’s only a few kilometers from here,” he said.
“There was a lot of intelligence… and that intelligence suggested that I should move fast and get somewhere… When they say dozens of attempts have been made, don’t believe it. I don’t know, Maybe the intelligence agencies know more about it.”
Putin ‘says and does’
Asked if a face-to-face meeting with Mr Putin would help resolve the ongoing dispute, Mr Zelenskiy said: “It’s not interesting for me, not interesting to meet, not interesting to talk about. Why? Because we met him. It was in the Normandy format, it was before the full-scale invasion. I saw this guy who said one thing and then did another.
“I don’t understand – are these his decisions or someone else’s? So who to meet, shake hands with? Not interesting, to talk? I really don’t understand who makes the decisions in Russia.
“Who is he now? After the full scale attack, he is nobody to me, nobody.”
A family at war
Mr Zielinski spoke not only about the toll the war had taken on his people, but also about his family – and especially his 10-year-old son.
He revealed that he rarely sees his wife and children, but when he does, they eat together and talk about the war.
“It’s a pity that I can’t see my children once, now it’s more often from the beginning. In the last two, three months we’ve had one every 10 days, one, Two weeks, I see, eat, talk and I can see my daughter because she is a student this year and that’s why I often see her more than my son.
“He’s 10 years old but he’s thinking that … it’s a tragedy … it’s a tragedy for all our families through Ukraine. All our children are adults, all of them, they talk about the war. Yes, they talk about when we’re going to win. They know. They know better than I think.
“It’s a tragedy that they talk about it, not about the children, not about their games with each other, not about football, no conversations about football, this difference. But we will soon change this situation.”
‘I am proud of my people’
Asked about the deaths of the Russian boys, Mr Zelenskiy said: “As a father I don’t understand how you can let your child go, knowing that they will die trying to get something. belong to them.
“In other words, by letting your child go, you’re already criminalizing him. And that’s a crime. It’s murder, it’s not self-defense. It’s murder, a premeditated murder. And they If they become prisoners of war, they must take responsibility for their actions, or face judgment before God.
“But because of President Putin’s ambitions, he’s left behind just one man, dying young on our soil.”
A comedian and actor before entering politics, Mr. Zielinski said of his health: “I’m fine, I’m strong, as are our people. Our soldiers and our army… And of course, first of all, me. Proud of our people.
“I never thought before this war, before this job, that I would have to do this so it’s fine for me. I’m fine, really fine.”
‘Russians don’t consider their war dead’
The city of Bakhmut, where Russia’s Wagner mercenaries and Ukrainian forces are locked in battle, has been witnessing heavy fighting for months.
As speculation of a Russian escalation in southern and eastern Ukraine grows, Mr Zelensky said it was vital for Ukrainian forces to be prepared for a possible wave of attacks.
He said: “It all depends on our defensive strength. It all depends on how much we can stop them.
“In the East they’re going on and losing a lot of people. It’s just an extraordinary number. They don’t care. I mean they don’t count their people. That’s a fact.
“We are counting their people. But we don’t have the exact number. There have been a lot of casualties from them. But from what we have already seen and counted, thousands of people have died from them. , and they’re just throwing. Throwing them, and throwing them, and throwing them, and throwing them.”
‘Thankful for Tanks’
During the interview – filmed on Mr Zelenskiy’s 45th birthday – the Ukrainian president learned that Germany had decided to send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv. After weeks of indecision.
He told Sky News He was “very grateful.” for the tanks but warned that the number and timing of their delivery was “critical”.
Washington also announced yesterday that it would send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, with US President Joe Biden saying the armored capability was “important to Ukraine” and that the US would “train Ukrainian troops as soon as possible”. .
Britain became the first Western country to commit to main battle tanks at the time of Rishi Sank. 14 Challenger 2 promised. this month.
The series of announcements of advanced battle tanks for Ukraine is a significant blow to Mr Putin’s forces.
Mr Zelenskiy added: “For me, people are the first priority. That’s why I don’t want to fight on Russian soil. I just want them to stop fighting as soon as possible, and leave our country as soon as possible.” .
“I can tell you with certainty that if they leave our land, the war will stop.”
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