Speed Reads

'we will win indeed'

Russia's invasion is 'genocide,' Zelensky says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described Russia's invasion of Ukraine as "genocide" during a Sunday appearance on CBS's Face the Nation.

"Indeed, this is genocide," Zelensky told host Margaret Brennan through a translator. "The elimination of the whole nation and the people. We are the citizens of Ukraine. We have more than 100 nationalities. This is about the destruction and extermination of all these nationalities. We are the citizens of Ukraine, and we don't want to be subdued to the policy of Russian Federation. This is the reason we are being destroyed and exterminated, and this is happening in the Europe of the 21st century."

Zelensky also said the idea of negotiating with Putin is difficult for him on a "personal level" due to the atrocities he has witnessed but is the only way to end the war. He added that the withdrawal of all Russian forces "to the borders that existed prior to the 24th of February" was the "bare minimum" for any peaceful settlement.

Ukraine, Zelensky continued, would be willing to accept "non-bloc" status — meaning the country would not join NATO — but only if Ukraine is permitted to join the European Union and receives enforceable "security guarantees" from a "circle of countries."

When asked whether Ukrainian forces were responsible for the helicopter attack on a fuel depot in Belgorod, Russia, on Friday and for explosions that, according to Reuters were heard in Belgorod on Sunday, Zelensky denied it. "We're fighting for our country on our terrain," he said.

Zelensky concluded the interview with a call for solidarity between the United States and Ukraine. "Take a good care of yourselves, your families, and the peace that you have in the United States," he said. "Don't forget about Ukraine. Please help us keep. Keep on helping us. We have the same values. We have the same color of blood. And we are fighting for freedom and we will win indeed."