Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has re-emphasized his country’s need for more military material aid. The comments came during an interview aired Sunday, April 17th, with Jake Tapper of CNN.
Speaking through an interpreter, Zelensky responded to Biden’s decision on Wednesday, April 13th to provide $800M in military aid.
… I am happy that he’s helping us now. I feel that, right now, we’re having a cleaner dialogue. It’s been a dialogue that has had some twists and turns, and not just talk. It’s been very, very difficult, because there aren’t many countries that have really helped us.
The assistance from the United States, led by President Biden — and they are doing it again today — but there will never be enough. Enough isn’t possible. There is a full-scale war ongoing today, so we still need a lot more than what we have today.
Unfortunately, we do not have technical advantages over our enemy, just not on the same level there. But our people are stronger. That’s our main advantage, and we know our mission, our objective, what we’re fighting for. We’re defending our country. All these families and the kids that we discussed before, we know what we stand for and from where we get our strength.
But for Biden’s confirmed $800 million in support, what’s most important is speed.
When asked about the Biden Administration’s continued insistence the aid is ultimately designed to place Ukraine in a better position for a negotiated peace, Zelensky referenced the horrific human rights violations and full-blown genocide committed by Russian troops as, for some odd reason, not being entirely conducive toward diplomatic solutions.
… (W)here is the compromise coming from the Russian Federation? Maybe we can end this war without any conditions. Maybe the war can end without any dialogue or compromise and without sitting down at the negotiating table with the president of Russia.
And you will understand daily, as I said before, what’s the price of all this? It’s people, the many people who have been killed. And who ends up paying for all of this? It’s Ukraine, just us.
So, for us, this is a really great cost. If there is an opportunity to speak, we will speak. But to speak only a Russian ultimatum, it’s then a question about attitude towards us, not about whether the dialogue is good or bad. It’s impossible. The sooner it happens, it just means that less are likely to die.
But it’s not a fact that this would actually be the case, not at all. But it’s possible. And, therefore, we should try. We want to liberate our country, take back what’s ours. We can fight the Russian Federation for 10 years to take what’s ours. We can go down such a path.
You have to understand what you’re doing, know your strength, remember that you’re not fighting alone. And can you imagine you would fight one-on-one with a very large state, one that’s 28 times larger than us, in terms of territorial size and economy? And their army is larger.
And one cannot fight on their character alone. To fight as one, there needs to be equipment today or tomorrow, not in two or three months. Some countries are just not offering assistance. They can send millions, but we could still lose our state.
That’s why one has to strike a balance, whether you want to or not. You are not the only hero. The people are the heroes. And we must protect their lives maximally. The conditions must be humane, if, in fact, that’s even possible. We cannot give up our territory, but we must find at least some dialogue with Russia, if they are capable and if we are still ready.
But the chances of this are growing less by the day. There comes a time when, think about Bucha or Borodyanka, Volnovakha, Izyum, Mariupol. After all that, no one wants to talk. Our society doesn’t want us to continue talks. This is a great tragedy.
The interview also contained a chuckle-inducing moment in which Tapper and Zelensky compared notes on how, even in war’s midst, teenage daughters steadfastly remain teenage daughters.
TAPPER: How are your wife and kids? Are they OK?
ZELENSKY: Normal. Thank you so much.
TAPPER: They’re OK?
TAPPER: How old are your kids?
ZELENSKY: My daughter is almost 18, and then son is 9, almost 9.
TAPPER: I have a 12-year-old boy …
TAPPER: … and a 14-year-old girl. So, it’s very …
ZELENSKY: Girl? So you understand me, 14-year-old girl.
ZELENSKY: We understand.
I call my daughter, and she’s like: “Can’t talk, dad. Very busy.”
ZELENSKY: Not now.
TAPPER: “I’m very busy.”
ZELENSKY: Yes, I know it’s — without knocking the door, I can’t speak with my own daughter.
The interview returned to severe matters as Zelensky replied to whether he, as a Jew albeit non-observant, had any Passover-themed message to the world.
I believe the way we fight for our freedom is the most important message, because you can send a lot of messages with words. And they come from different people.
But when it comes to actions, only a few act on their words. And, today, I believe Ukrainian people show by their actions that they are fighting and protecting freedom, a principle of freedom. And principles are everywhere.
And if our people won’t be able to protect freedom in their own country, it will be a signal to all other countries that it is allowed, allowed to just come and stab, come and shoot, come and take other people’s land. I believe the way our people act today is a signal to the whole world.
Again on a personal note, Zelensky offered this when asked about his preferred legacy.
A human being that loved life to the fullest and loved his family and loved his motherland, definitely not a hero.
I want people to take me as I am, a regular human.
… I believe our people are genuine and unique. And I just can’t afford to be worse than them.
When, at certain moments, I feel like all of this is dangerous. I understand that all the rest of us are going through this as well, what people are feeling like who are in basements, who lost their children, what our soldiers feel like right now.
And I understand I have to be the strongest one in this situation. And this is all. And the most important is the way my children look at me. They have to be proud of me. This is the most important thing. I do everything for this.
The arguments pro and con Ukraine should pale when faced with images from Bucha. It is utterly unimportant what the mainstream media preaches regarding the Russia-Ukraine war. Sometimes even MSM hits on the truth. People are fleeing for their lives. Many are dying, including Russian soldiers pumped full of propaganda and baseless hatred. This war is madness perpetrated by the madman Vladimir Putin. All aid short of war, i.e., American military personnel, should be provided to Ukraine lest Russia succeed and then refuse to stop. Is Zelensky perfect? Of course not. But when your alternative is Putin, you work with what you have.