Ukraine War: Tanks, peace talks, Putin and Boris Johnson – key points from Kay Burley’s interview with Volodymyr Zelenskyy | world news

Kay Burley met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv for an exclusive Sky News interview.

In broad discussion, everything from tanks, family, Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson and the president’s birthday was covered.

Here are five key points from the interview.

Russia sends warning to US over tanks

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Why does Ukraine need new tanks?

On the tanks

The President explained that the Russian tanks greatly outnumbered the vehicles that Ukrainian forces have at their disposal.

Mr Zelenskywho learned of Germany’s decision to send Leopard 2 tanks during his interview with Sky News, said he wanted to thank Europe and the United States, but added that they could not lose time to bring them to the front line.

He said, “We need 300 or 500 tanks now. This is why I believe that we need tanks to carry out an offensive on our territory, on our lands. We need armored vehicles to protect our people, that’s all.

“I am very happy and I would like to thank Germany, thank Great Britain and thank the United States for taking such decisions. Overall, I am grateful to the world for supporting Ukraine.

“But if we speak frankly and honestly with you, the number of tanks and the delivery time are of crucial and critical importance, in relation to the decision that has been made. We have approved crates of weapons to be sent to us , but we still haven’t received them.

“Sometimes the delivery of weapons takes months, you understand? I don’t blame anyone, but, in answer to your question, a feeling of relief only comes after the weapons, which our partners give us, are already used by our armies.”

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Soldiers prepare for Bakhmut

On the fight against the Russians

Mr. Zelenskyy explained that he had no intention of taking territory in Russiasaying that all he wanted was for Moscow’s forces to leave Ukraine.

He said: “We don’t fight on Russian territory, because it doesn’t interest us. It just doesn’t interest us.

“Because war anywhere means losing people. For me, people are the number one priority. That’s why I don’t want to fight on Russian territory.

“I just want them to stop the war as quickly as possible and leave our country as quickly as possible.

“I can tell you with certainty that if they leave our territory, the war will stop. That’s all.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the launch ceremony for the Titan-Polymer plant via video conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
The Ukrainian leader said peace talks with Vladimir Putin would be pointless. Photo: AP

On peace talks with Putin

Mr Zelenskyy said peace talks with Russia while Vladimir Putin is still president would be pointless.

He said: “You know, so far there are no peace talks with Russia…because we don’t know with whom we have to negotiate, and on what. What kind of peace talks peace ?

“Right now it’s just criminals who came here and killed and raped. That’s what they did.

“They don’t want talks, and that was the case before the invasion. President Putin has decided that. I am convinced that Ukraine is only a first step for him. I am convinced that he is waging a great war.

“And having the whole world helping Ukraine now – he doesn’t think about it. He thinks ‘Well, it’s not working in Ukraine now but we’re going to wait…the world won’t stay together, they’ll get tired and I will go further.

“But after Ukraine, there will be other stages, there will be other countries, if we don’t resist.”

Read more:
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    Moment Volodymyr Zelenskyy heard Germany was promising tanks during his interview with Kay Burley

The president added that before the invasion, Putin had never met for talks because he had no intention of keeping the peace, saying: “He was just trying to mislead us. He doesn’t doesn’t want negotiations because he doesn’t want peace. He can slow things down.

“They were sending messages about the peace talks, and we have proof of that, only when they needed time to regroup on the battlefield.

“When they suffered huge losses, they said they wanted peace. That’s a lie. We saw them saying they wanted peace and then they were hitting with missiles at night.

“We hope that once Russia brings its troops back to its territory, it will admit its big mistakes and there will be a new government in the Russian Federation. We are neighbors. Only then will we will resolve this situation. Then, probably, talks will be possible.”

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Johnson makes surprise visit to Ukraine

On Boris Johnson

asked if he would accept Boris Johnson as the UK’s special envoy to Ukraine, he enthusiastically agreed – describing the former prime minister as a “good guy”.

But when asked if he would support Mr Johnson if he ran again to be prime minister, Mr Zelenskyy was more diplomatic, saying: “I think it’s not right for me to support Johnson to be prime minister when Rishi is prime minister, it’s not is not correct, I’m sorry, totally.”

Volodymyr Zelenskyy Telegram's message after his visit to the United States

Never lose your sense of humor

Prior to a life of politics and war, Mr. Zelenskyy was an actor and comedian.

Asked about the importance of keeping a sense of humor, he replied, “I never lost my sense of humor.

“I think when people lose it, they lose… their mindset. I think so. You have to focus and be very serious not for months.

“You have to do it in very important moments, in very difficult decisions, you have to be smart and you have to be adequate and you have to be brave because you are the leader.

“You have to be strong and that’s why the sense of humor shows, when you can joke, show sometimes of course, show that it’s okay, that you are strong, that you are in control of the situation.

“It’s very important to control the situation. And that’s it. Nobody can make decisions without you. Because then the outcome, so, I mean, the outcome is up to you.

“That’s why you have to focus. And humor makes you human.”


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