Putin believes he’s winning the war, Austrian chancellor says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with CNN's Jake Tapper.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with CNN’s Jake Tapper. (CNN)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he has difficulty believing in the reliability of “some countries or some leaders” after the escalation of the war in his country.

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Zelensky during an exclusive interview about whether he finds statements when world leaders use the term “never again,” a slogan that is associated with Holocaust and often uttered after crimes against humanity, “hollow” now.

“You lost ancestors in the Holocaust. Every year on Holocaust Remembrance Day, politicians put out statements that say, never again, never again. Those statements must seem really hollow right now to you. When the world says never again, do they ever mean it?” Tapper asked.

Zelensky responded, “I don’t believe the world. After we have seen what’s going on in Ukraine, we’ve — I mean that I don’t believe to this feeling that we should believe to the — to the — some countries or some leaders. We don’t believe the words. After the escalation of Russia, we don’t believe our neighbors. We don’t believe all of this.”

The Ukrainian president went on to say that he doesn’t even believe in documented security assurances and international law as the war in Ukraine rages, and with Russia accused of alleged war crimes.

“Even I don’t believe documents, because we also have a Budapest Memorandum — I think you know all of the details of this. For me, that is just a piece of paper and costs nothing,” Zelensky said

Zelensky told CNN that his faith and his belief lies with practical, tangible efforts and the Ukrainian people.

“We just believe contracted, pragmatic things. If you are our friends or partners, give us weapons, give us hand, give us support us, give us money and stop Russia, kick Russia. You can do it if you’re a friend If you think about this democracy and everything just of this moment because we have the same thoughts, if we are speaking about freedom, not because we want to have dialogue about freedom,” he said.

Zelensky continued, “The only belief there is belief in ourselves, in our people, belief in our Armed Forces, and the belief that countries are going to support us not just with their words but with their actions. And that’s it. Never again … Really, everybody is talking about this and yet, as you can see, not everyone has got the guts.”

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