On April 5, 2022, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave an extensive interview to the Ukrainian media, where he raised the issue of the territorial integrity of the state, including the return of Crimea and Donbass, as well as post-war reconstruction.
The main theses of the speech of President Volodymyr Zelensky on April 5, 2022.
About the requirements of the Russian Federation
'We forgot the phrase about demilitarization at the stage when I was offered to leave Kyiv. We told them: 'Forget about demilitarization and denazification, we will not even talk about it', and we can demand denazification from you actually'... We understand that if we sign the agreement, Russia can return in 2 years'.
Negotiations with Russia and a meeting with Putin
Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggested that his personal meeting with Vladimir Putin 'may not happen'. Nevertheless, negotiations with Moscow must continue, even after the Bucha tragedy and other facts of Russian atrocities.
The question of joining NATO
'We are ready to join tomorrow. I also told the Secretary General of NATO about this, if they offer not to play, but talk seriously. Unfortunately, this will not happen. That is why we will build security guarantees that can protect all people'.
The question of the return of the Crimea
'This is the second point, Crimea. We did not have time to discuss Donbas yet... My position: it is impossible discuss all points at once. And if the parties want to end the war — and this is not only us and Russia, but also the West, because they are the guarantors of security — so if all parties want, then everyone must work on it. The chance that Russia will agree to this is 10-15%. It is difficult and unlikely to resolve all disputes in a package and end the war with the Russian Federation — some things cannot be resolved with tanks in your territory, society will not understand this. That is why it is a diplomatic path towards Crimea'.
The question of Donbas
'There is a concentration of troops in Donbass now, there is no big strategy of the Russian Federation — they did not occupy here (central Ukraine), so they want to occupy there: Donbas, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, the corridor to the Crimea. They will fight for Donbas and Mariupol. It’s is a medal for them, which they want to hang on their chest ... In the negotiations it is like this: Donbas defends – there is one position. When it is difficult there – position changes. Positions are subject to change. Not everything depends on you. During the war, positions changed, we saw it all'.
About the tragedy in Bucha
The President of Ukraine called what happened in Bucha a 'big tragedy' and a 'genocide'. He also promised that all war criminals will be punished.
We remind that in the city of Bucha of the Kyiv area after release from the Russian fascist invaders hundreds of bodies of the killed civilians with traces of tortures were found. Mass burials in the city were also reported. According to Ukrainian authorities, the total number of victims is over 300. It is alleged that these are victims of the Russian military. Russia categorically denies the involvement of its military in crimes in Bucha and other towns in northern Ukraine.
About local authorities of Ukraine
'We are proud of the mayors. Some were not expected to do such brave things. There are no questions about them today. And some surprised us and not in a positive way. I will not say who — but it was right that we united their teams with the RMA (Regional Military Administration — ), some mayors then came to their senses, said: 'I'm sorry, we were not ready'. Some heads of regional state administrations were not strong managers before the war. And here they changed, became managers of war. No RMA mayor ran anywhere! It’s not because it is such a personnel approach. But they all turned out to be powerful people, all in their places. We have lost some community leaders. They were killed and tortured. After the war, we will settle at the regional level, and tell everyone how they fooled the enemy, how we hid the mayors so that they would remain a symbol for the people'.
About representatives of big business
'You know, some people left with money. And there were many such people. It is unfortunate that among them are former and current deputies of the Verkhovna Rada. We know who left ... There are entrepreneurs who hid and fled abroad — because of their age, hid behind their businesses'.
Earlier, Zelensky repeatedly stated that Ukraine would not make territorial concessions in negotiations with Russia. He clarified that Kyiv expects security guarantees from leading world powers, including the United States, when concluding a de-escalation agreement with Russia. Zelensky also called NATO's unwillingness to admit Ukraine to the military alliance a mistake.