In an interview from the president’s office in Kyiv, Zelensky said that weapons provided by the United States and other countries so far, including the new $800 million Biden administration security assistance package, helped his country resist the Russian invasion. But he said more would be needed, and coaches in his country would be able to quickly speed up his forces.
“I have heard many times from certain countries that do not want to quickly give us weapons because our soldiers are not technically prepared to use them,” he added. “But the trainers of this equipment, our instructors, will prepare our forces to fight in it. If it is an aircraft, for example, the pilots can be ready in two weeks. Whether it is kamikaze drones, artillery, howitzers, or (multiple launch missile) system) MLRS complexes, we have very smart people. We trained with NATO countries. “
Zelensky vows that troops in Mariupol will not surrender
“They say they are ready to let all the military go if they surrender. But they will not surrender. They don’t want to do that and that is why it is a complicated and tragic situation because the military does not want to surrender. Without that, the Russians are not ready to let them go,” Zelensky said. “When you can make a deal with the Russians to let them go, unarmed, but then, what they’ll do is shoot them dead. That’s why no one trusts Russia now.”
Zelensky added that Ukraine wanted to transfer the wounded from Mariupol, but Russian forces did not allow them to do so.
“We wanted to transport the wounded,” he said. “We talked about it being a humanitarian mission. Bring the wounded back to us.” “We have made plans for Turkey to be a mediator and get the wounded civilians and military out. They don’t let them out because we understand that Russia just wants to shoot them.”
“We wanted to transport the wounded. We talked about it being a humanitarian mission. Bring the wounded back to us!” He said. “We have made plans for Turkey to be a mediator and get the wounded civilians and military out. They don’t let them out because we understand that Russia just wants to shoot them.”
The situation in Mariupol is bleak. Most of the city was destroyed by Russian bombing. The civilian structures targeted included a maternity hospital and a theater where up to 1,300 people were seeking asylum.
Although many have fled, an estimated 100,000 people remain in the city and its immediate surroundings, which is reported to be largely under Russian control.
Zelensky pushed European countries to cut off Russian oil. Asked about Russian fuel flowing through pipelines in Ukraine, Zelensky said, “Yes, we understand this problem.”
“We understand how much money Russia makes from energy tankers. And yes, first of all, we’re calling for an oil embargo because they earn a billion a day from oil. We’re calling for a gas embargo after that,” Zelensky said. “And we are fighting together and looking at these options. But this is a transit. We have a transit agreement. That is why it is necessary to have an agreement between Europe and Russia, so they have a gas embargo. Then there there will be no transit.”
Zelensky added that Russian forces have targeted Ukrainian gas pipelines in an attempt to signal to European countries that they cannot rely on Ukraine.
“This is what Russia is aiming for. They are trying to act in this way to show that Ukraine is not able to supply gas safely,” Zelensky said. “They’ve been doing it and they’ve been doing it for a while because they want a chance to reopen Nord Stream 2. And we’re watching that constantly. I’ve already talked about it with our European partners, I don’t want to say what leaders I’ve talked to. I told them, please put a gas ban, from Please. We are ready to lose money. Money is not the most important thing to us. People are the most important.”
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