Special Report’s Bret Baier interviewed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday evening, touching on a wide variety of topics, including what a victory looks like for Ukraine and what Putin is hoping to achieve.
Baier asked the Ukrainian leader at the start of the interview how he believes the “war will end” prompting an explanation from Zelenskyy that only “victory” will be acceptable to his country.
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“A victory of truth means a victory for Ukraine and Ukrainians,” Zelenskyy said through an interpreter. “The question is when it will end. That is a deep question. It’s a painful question. Besides victory, the Ukrainian people will not accept any outcome.”
Baier then asked what Zelenskyy is “willing to agree to” in order to secure a peace deal and specifically brought up the possibility of ceding Ukrainian territory to Russia.
“We do not trade our territory,” Zelenskyy responded. “The question of territorial integrity and sovereignty is out of discussion.”
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Zelenskyy said that his country is looking for commitments from “leading nations” that Ukraine’s security will be protected with a treaty if it is to agree to a deescalation with Russia and reiterated his belief that Ukraine would be a beneficial addition to NATO.
“It’s hard for us to talk about NATO because NATO doesn’t want to admit us,” Zelenskyy said. “I think it’s a mistake because if we join NATO, we make NATO much stronger. We are not a weak state. We are not proposing to make us stronger at the expense of NATO…We are an addition, we are the locomotive. I think we are one of the important components of the European continent.”
The Ukrainian president added that he has spoken with President Biden and told him he would like to see the United States included in a security agreement that would provide long-term support for Ukraine to address the possibility Russia would to invade again in the future. Zelenskyy said that the United States is “considering this proposition.”
When asked what Putin wants to gain in this conflict, Zelenskyy said that Putin wants whatever the West will give to him and that “appetites usually grow.”
“The more you give them the more their appetite grows,” Zelenskyy said, adding that Putin will continue his aggression in Europe beyond Ukraine and will get what he wants “unless he is stopped” now.
Zelenskyy told Baier that “everybody must know that if we are pressed in a corner” the Ukrainian military “will answer with full strength.”
Baier and Zelenskyy also touched on the accusations from Russian officials that Ukraine attacked an oil depot inside Russia using helicopters.
“Did you launch an attack on a Russian military depot on Russian soil using helicopters?” Baier asked Zelenskyy.
“I’m sorry I do not discuss any of my orders as commander in chief,” Zelenskyy responded. “The leader of this state. There are things which I only share with military armed forces of Ukraine and when they talk with me.”
“What matters for us is that you and the whole world should know that we are a country at war,” Zelenskyy continued. “We were attacked. That is what matters. That is the biggest tragedy. And today, to hear those reports about something happening someplace something exploded while there is war in Ukraine – honestly it’s not professional to talk about it. They occupied our territory. They attacked us. This war going on for 8 years so whatever happens in a certain situation it’s hard for me to comment.”
Baier asked Zelenskyy whether he believes that President Biden “wants” Ukraine to win or if his administration harbors “fear” of what Putin’s reaction will be if he loses.
“I have faith that President Biden, like any true American citizen, believes and wants the truth to win,” Zelenskyy said. “And the truth is on the side of Ukraine. I believe they want the values that make our nations closer to win.”
Zelenskyy added that his military does not want bullet-proof vests and special helmets but would prefer heavy weaponry.
“Just give us missiles, give us airplanes, you cannot give us F–18 or F-19 or whatever you have, give us old Soviet planes,” Zelenskyy said. “That’s all. Give them into my hands. Give me something to defend my county with.”
At the close of the interview, Baier asked Zelenskyy about comparisons some have made between him and Winston Churchill.
“God chooses what we can endure, and I think this was not by chance,” Zelenskyy said. “I know we will stand through this.”
Source: Fox News