Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country joined forces to resist Russia’s invasion as “a single fist,” saying he believed the nation was “defending the right to live” in the modern world amid the ongoing war.
“Even though [our people] understood that they would be outnumbered tenfold, and there would be no way out. Just no way out. We fought for our existence and for survival,” Zelenskyy told CBS News’ “60 Minutes.” “That’s the combined heroism of everyone – of the people, of the authorities, of the armed forces. We became a single fist.”
The interview is Zelenskyy’s latest appeal to the United States and other western nations to provide ongoing support to Ukrainians. The Ukrainian president said that while American arms had helped defend against the Kremlin’s troops, “President Biden can enter history as the person who stood shoulder to shoulder with the Ukrainian people who won and chose the right to have their own country.”
“[It all] depends on [how fast] we will be helped by the United States,” Zelenskyy said during the interview. “To be honest, whether we will be able to [survive] depends on this. I have 100% confidence in our people and in our armed forces. But unfortunately, I don’t have the confidence that we will be receiving everything we need.”
Russia has withdrawn troops from around Kyiv, leaving a trail of devastation and accusations of war crimes as it regroups from the lengthy assault. Pelley noted that Russian President Vladimir initially expected to seize Kyiv in three days, with his officials assuming Zelenskyy would flee. He didn’t, rallying his people, and the war has now stretched longer than six weeks.
“When everyone is telling you, you need to go, you need to think,” the Ukrainian leader said. “Before I do something, I analyze the situation. I’ve always done it calmly, without any chaos. I might not be the strongest warrior. But I’m not willing to betray anyone.”
He went on to say that he was willing to sacrifice his life for that cause, saying his family understood despite assertions that they are all primary targets for Russian forces.
“I don’t want to make myself out to be a hero,” he said. “I love my family. I want to live many more years, but choosing between running or being with my people, of course, I’m ready to give my life for my country.”