Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country had joined forces to resist the Russian invasion as “one fist”, saying he believed the nation was “defending the right to live” in the modern world amidst the ongoing war.
“Although [our people] understood that they would be ten times more numerous and that there would be no way out. No way out. We fought for our existence and for our survival,” Zelenskyy told CBS News’ 60 Minutes. “It is the combined heroism of everyone – of the people, of the authorities, of the armed forces. We have become one fist.
The interview is Zelenskyy’s final appeal to the United States and other Western countries to provide continued support to Ukrainians. Ukraine’s president said that while American weapons helped defend against Kremlin troops, “President Biden can go down in history as the person who stood with the Ukrainian people who won and chose the right to have his own country”.
“[It all] depend on [how fast] we will be helped by the United States,” Zelenskyy said during the interview. “To be honest, if we will be able to [survive] depends on that. I have 100% confidence in our people and our armed forces. But unfortunately, I am not sure that we will receive everything we need.
Russia has withdrawn its troops from around kyiv, leaving a trail of devastation and accusations of war crimes as it regroups after the long onslaught. Pelley noted that Russian President Vladimir initially expected to capture kyiv in three days, with his officials assuming Zelensky would flee. He didn’t, rallying his people, and the war has now been going on for over six weeks.
“When everyone tells you, you have to go, you have to think,” the Ukrainian leader said. “Before doing something, I analyze the situation. I always did it calmly, without any chaos. I may not be the strongest warrior. But I’m not ready to betray anyone.
He went on to say he was willing to sacrifice his life for this cause, saying his family understood despite claims that they are all prime targets of Russian forces.
“I don’t want to pass myself off as a hero,” he said. “I love my family. I want to live many more years, but to choose between running or being with my people, of course I am ready to give my life for my country.