Former Ukraine president, armed with an AK-47, tells CNN Putin will 'never' take the country

The former president of Ukraine spoke live with CNN on Friday from the streets of Kyiv, while armed with a rifle, amid Russia's invasion of the country.

CNN on Friday aired a live interview with Petro Poroshenko, who served as president of Ukraine until 2019 and spoke from the country's capital with an armed battalion behind him. Poroshenko spoke out against Russia's "disastrous aggression" against Ukraine, and he said there was fighting with Russia ongoing two or three kilometers away from him.

"Everybody should understand, Putin declared a war not for Ukraine," he said. "Putin declared a war to the whole world, to every single person who's watching now."

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Poroshenko also called Russian President Vladimir Putin "simply crazy" and "evil" to "come here to kill Ukrainians." Asked by CNN anchor John Berman what he was armed with, Poroshenko held up a Kalashnikov, and he said that many Ukrainians wanted to enlist to fight against Russia, which shows "how Ukrainians people hate Putin." But he noted "we don't have enough arms."

When Berman asked how long he can hold out against Russia, Poroshenko replied, "Forever."

"Putin never will capture Ukraine, no matter how many soldiers he has, how many missiles he has, how many nuclear weapons he has," he said. "We Ukrainians are free people with a great European future."

CNN's interview with Poroshenko on the streets of Kyiv on Friday came as the network reported that U.S. intelligence officials "are concerned that Kyiv could fall under Russian control within days."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.