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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated in a new interview that he would not consider giving up parts of his country to bring an end to the war with Russia.
Speaking with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” Zelensky was asked how he would respond to people who have argued for giving up parts of eastern Ukraine to Russia in exchange for an end to the war.
“In the centuries-old history of Ukraine, there is the story that Ukraine has either taken some territory or needs to give up some territory,” Zelensky said through a translator. “Ukraine and the people of our states are absolutely clear: We don’t want anyone else’s territory and we are not going to give up our own.”
“We cannot give up our territory, but we must find at least some dialogue with Russia if they are capable and if we are still ready. But the chances of this are growing less by the day,” Zelensky said, adding that many Ukrainians likely aren’t in favor of negotiations with Russia after what has occurred in cities like Bucha, Borodyanka and Mariupol.
Tapper noted that a new Russian offensive in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine is likely to start soon. Ukraine recently declared victory in the battle of Kyiv, and Tapper asked Zelensky if he believed Ukraine could win in the east as well.
“For us, the battle for Donbas is very important. It is important for different reasons, for the reason of safety,” said Zelensky.
“First of all, our grouping that is located in Donbas is one of the best military we have. It is a large group and Russia wants to encircle them and destroy them. It is nearly 40,000 people. It is 44,000 professional military men who survived a great war from the beginning of 2014.”