Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he could not understand Russia’s brutality during its invasion of Ukraine, and immediately called for more help from the United States and its allies to resist Russian attacks.
“We do not understand [the Russians]”Zelenskyy said in an interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley, two days after visiting Bucha, where civilian bodies lay in the streets after Russian forces withdrew from areas around Kiev.” You can not really understand this world that there are people on this planet who give these orders and people [who carry them out]. ”
“Dead. Just dead,” Zelenskyy said of what he saw in Bucha, adding that the bodies had been “left out as garbage.”
Despite Zelensky’s repeated calls for a no-fly zone, the United States and its allies have rejected it, saying it could lead to a direct military confrontation between two nuclear-armed powers – the United States and Russia.
“I remember, we all remember, books about World War II and about the devil in uniform – Adolf Hitler,” Zelenskyy said. “Are the countries that did not take part in the war responsible? The countries that allowed German forces to march across Europe? Is the world responsible for the genocide? Yes. Yes, it does. [have the ability to] close the sky – yes it’s scary that a world war can start. It is scary. I understand [that]. And I can not put pressure on these people because everyone is afraid of war. But about the world [is responsible] for this I think so, yea. I believe so.
“Stand in front of the mirror every day and ask yourself, were you able to do something? Or were you unable to do something? You will find the answer in the mirror to this question, and to another question – who are you? “That’s what I think.”
Zelenskyy warned that not doing more for Ukraine now means Russia can “move closer and closer to Europe.”
“They will only get stronger and less predictable,” he said.
Zelenskyy said Ukraine needed more sanctions against Russia and more military aid from allies who should be less afraid of Putin.
“Weapons, number one. They have to be very serious about it. They certainly understand what I’m talking about right now. They have to supply weapons to Ukraine as if they were defending themselves and their own people. They have to understand this: If they does not accelerate, it will be very difficult for us to keep up with this pressure. The second factor is sanctions. Because we have found some things in sanctions that are easy for financial experts to circumvent. Russia has been circumventing them and that “It’s absolutely true. The Western world knows it. This should not be allowed. This is not a movie, this is real life. Stop fearing the Russian Federation. We have shown that we are not afraid.”
Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, told Pelley that he had asked the Biden administration for heavier weapons – tanks and jets – and that they would be delivered quickly.
“If we receive this support in time, we will win,” Yermak said.
A White House official told 60 Minutes that Yermak received a “yes” to his requests, but to complete those orders takes time. Ukrainians also need Russian-made weapons, which they already know how to use.
Meanwhile, Russia is escalating its attacks in the east and south.
“We think it will be a new wave of this war. We do not know how much [Russian weaponry] there will be. But we understand that there will be many times more than there are now, “said Zelenskyy.[All] depends on the [how fast] we will be helped by the United States. 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 do not trust that we will get everything we need. ”
Zelenskyy said Ukraine’s security services have intercepted communications from Russian soldiers talking to their parents about “what they stole and who they abducted” while collecting evidence of alleged war crimes. It has footage of Russian prisoners of war, “who admitted to killing people” and had “cards with civilian targets to bomb.”
“Investigations are also being made based on the remains of the dead,” he said.
When asked if Russian President Vladimir Putin should be prosecuted for war crimes, Zelenskyy said that “everyone who made a decision, who issued an order, who fulfilled an order, everyone who is relevant to this, I think that they are all guilty. ” He added that he believes Putin is “one” of those responsible.
Few expected Ukraine to hold Russia back as long as it has. Zelenskyy is not ready to say what the victory will look like yet, but he mentioned his people’s courage as the reason he thinks his country will win the war.
“We united as one nation [our people] understood that they would be ten times smaller and there would be no way out. Just no way around it. We fought for our existence and for survival. It is the combined heroism of all – of the people, the authorities, the armed forces. We became a single fist. ”