Espreso. Global

West and Ukraine may have different ideas about what "victory" means - Zelenskyy

30 June, 2024 Sunday
18:50

Zelenskyy believes that Ukraine's victory is important for the United States, for Europe and for many countries. But we may all have different ideas about the word "victory"

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The President of Ukraine said this in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer.

When asked if he believed US President Joe Biden wants Ukraine to win, Zelenskyy replied, "Yes.I think that for the United States it is important and for Europe and for many countries. But we can have different ideas toward the word victory."

Zelenskyy explained that the West aims to prevent Putin from fully occupying Ukraine and to curb the aggressor's ambitions. For them, achieving this goal is already considered a victory.

“for the people at the front line who lost their brothers at arms, the civilians who lost their relatives, those who fled abroad but have husbands on the front line — for us, victory is a moment of satisfaction. We are grateful that the West did not let Russia occupy us [fully], but we need justice,” Zelenskyy stated.

He said that practically the first step to a real victory for Ukraine is preventing Putin from destroying everything Ukrainian. In the Russian-occupied territory of Ukraine, Moscow is trying to destroy the Ukrainian language, the Ukrainian church, and the teaching of Ukrainian history. Children are taught that Ukraine has never been a legitimate state, the president added.

He emphasized that Putin's true imperialist goal in invading Ukraine is to restore the historic Russian Empire, either through physical force or political sabotage.

Russia is already pursuing this goal in other countries: Belarus, Georgia, and potentially the Baltic states if the West does not counter Putin's actions. By bombing the Ukrainian cities, he is trying to make the country uninhabitable and drive out the population, Zelenskyy emphasized.

He clarified that the second part of achieving real victory is security for today and future Ukrainian generations and the impossibility of the repetition of aggression.

“We should be in the European Union for economic security. And we should be in NATO for physical security. If we don’t have these two, there is a huge risk for us that the enemy will come back,” he said. 

Zelenskyy worries that the West, especially the US, still doubts the possibility of a genuine victory for Ukraine.

“Everybody is still afraid that Russia can split apart, everybody is afraid of what will happen to Russia without Putin and whether it will stay as it is or get worse,” he said.

As a result, he said, Putin can continue his strategy of taking as much as he can: “Any step forward on our territory, any occupation, any village even fully destroyed is positive for them because they need to bargain as much as possible“.

According to the Ukrainian president, at the right time, “Putin can then say ‘we are ready' (for talks - ed) and while they are ready, they always need a pause.“

“A cease-fire is the best option for the Russians so they can prepare for taking even more,” Zelenskyy said.

Putin's victory would mean the end of Ukraine's independence, he emphasized: "Bit by bit, they are washing away Ukrainian independence. They take territory, then legislate [to annex it] or invent economic or security unions with Moscow, and then they dissolve the country in this mud, in this Russian mud. That is why we need to be strong, not to lose our country."

  • Ukraine's Human Rights Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets has stated that Russia is unlawfully keeping captive more than 14,000 Ukrainian citizens.

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