Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview this week that he believes Russia President Vladimir Putin will soon be open to negotiations to end his full-scale invasion after being faced with resistance from Ukrainians.
Zelenskyy made the remarks in an interview with VICE News journalists Ben Solomon and Adam Desiderio in Kyiv on Thursday.
“I think he [Putin] will. I think he sees that we are strong,” Zelenskyy told Solomon and Desiderio. “He will. We need some time.”
Zelenskyy’s comments come two weeks after Putin launched a full-scale invasion into Ukraine.
“Can you make a compromise with Putin? Can you trust Putin?” Solomon asked Zelenskyy in the interview.
“Trust? Oh no, I trust only my family,” Zelenskyy answered.
“How can you make a deal with somebody you don’t trust, then?” Solomon pressed.
“We have to, we have to. Because this war, how to stop this war, only dialogue. And only dialogue with him, the president of Russia. And Russia is fighting against Ukraine. They came to our land, to our houses, to our children. We didn’t invite them. But they are here now. They are here,” the president responded.
“What would be your message to President Vladimir Putin right now?” Solomon inquired.
“Right now? Stop the war. Begin to speak,” Zelenskyy said.
The U.S. Pentagon analysts estimated that as many as 4,000 Russian troops have been killed in the two weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine. By comparison, in total, about 2,400 American troops died in Afghanistan over the course of twenty years.
“Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said during a worldwide threats hearing before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday morning that analysts give the estimate low confidence, and it was based in part on information from ‘open sources,’ which can mean media and social media reports,” NBC News noted.