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Tanks, peace talks, Putin and Boris Johnson: Key points from Kay Burley’s Zelenskyy interview

Kay Burley met President Volodymyr Zilenskyy in Kyiv to conduct an exclusive Sky News interview.

A wide-ranging discussion covered everything from tanks, family to Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson, and the president’s birthday.

These are the key points of the interview.



Russia warns the US about tanks – Ukraine’s latest

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Why do we need new tanks in Ukraine?


On tanks

According to the president, Russian tanks outnumber Ukrainian vehicles.

Mr Zelenskyy learned about Germany’s decision not to send Leopard 2 tanks to its frontline. He said that he wanted to express gratitude to Europe and the USA, but also stated that it was important to get them there quickly.

He stated that we need 300 to 500 tanks right now. To be able to conduct an offensive on our territory and on our land, we need tanks. To protect our people, we need armoured vehicles.

“I am very happy, and I would like Germany to thank Britain and the United States for making such important decisions. Overall, I am grateful for the support that was given to Ukraine by the rest of the world.

“But, if we are being honest and sincere with you, the delivery time and number of tanks are crucial and critically important in relation to the decision made. We have authorized cases of weapons to be shipped to us, but they have not yet arrived.

“It is not uncommon for weapons to arrive in months. Can you understand?” Although I understand your concern, I can only answer your question by saying that relief is only possible after weapons we have been given by our partners are being used.

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Soldiers get ready in Bakhmut


Fighting the Russians

Mr Zelenskyy stated that he did not intend to take territory in Russia and that all he wanted was for Moscow to leave Ukraine.

He stated that he was not going to fight on Russian territory because he wasn’t interested in it. It is not something we are interested in.

“Because war, wherever it may be, means losing people. People are my number one priority. This is why I refuse to fight on Russian soil.

“I want them to end the war as soon as possible and leave our country as soon as possible.

“I can assure you that if they leave our territory, the war will cease. That’s all.”

Image: A Ukrainian leader declared that peace talks with Vladimir Putin were futile. Pic by AP


Peace talks with Putin

According to Mr Zelenskyy, peace talks with Russia would not be fruitful if Vladimir Putin is still President.

He stated that: “You know what, there have not been any peace talks with Russia so far… because we don’t know who and about whom we should negotiate. What kind of peace negotiations?

“At the moment, these criminals came here to kill and rape. They have been doing that for years.

“They don’t want any negotiations, and this was before the invasion. Putin made that decision. He is only taking the first step in Ukraine, I believe. He is fighting a major war, I believe.

He is not even thinking about the possibility of Ukraine being supported by the entire world. He thinks, “Well, it’s not working in Ukraine right now, but we will wait… The world won’t remain united, they’ll get tired, and I’ll move further.”

“But after Ukraine, there will also be additional steps, there’ll be other countries, even if we fail withstand.”

Continue reading:

Zelenskyy is grateful for tanks, but warns that quantity and delivery times are ‘critical’

Germany will send 14 Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine

What is a Leopard 2 battle tank?

He said that Putin had never met with him for talks before the invasion and that he did not intend to preserve peace. He doesn’t want to negotiate because he doesn’t want peace. He can slow things down.

“They sent messages about peace negotiations, and we have evidence of it, but only when they needed to regroup on the battlefield.

“When they suffered huge losses, they claimed they wanted peace. This is a lie. They claimed that they want peace, and would then strike at night with missiles.

“We hope that Russia will pull its troops back onto their territory and admit their mistakes. Then, there will be a new government. We are neighbors. Only then will we be able to resolve this situation. Talks will likely then be possible.”

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Johnson surprises Ukraine


Boris Johnson

When asked if he would accept Boris Johnson to be the UK’s special representative to Ukraine, he enthusiastically said yes. He described the former PM as a “good man”.

When asked if Mr Zelenskyy would support Mr Johnson if elected to be Prime Minister again, Mr Zelenskyy responded more diplomatically, “It’s not correct for me to support Johnson to become prime minister when Rishi becomes prime minister. It’s not right, I’m sorry, completely.”


He never lost his sense of humor

Before his political and military career, Mr Zelenskyy was an actor.

He said that he never lost his sense of humor when questioned about how important it was to keep his sense of humor.

“I believe that people lose their… state of being when they lose it. That is what I believe. It is important to be focused and serious, not just for a few months.

“You must do it in very crucial moments, in very difficult decision-making situations, you need to be smart and competent, and you must be courageous because you are the leader.

“You must be strong. That’s why you should use humor. When you can laugh, you show that you are OK, that your strength is there, and that you have control over the situation.

“It is very important to control the environment. That’s all. Without you, no one can make decisions. Because the result is dependent on you.

“So, that’s why it is important to focus. Humour is what makes you human.

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