Zelenskyy reveals to journalist why he stayed in Kyiv after start of full-scale war

29 April, 06:11 PM
Zelenskyy explained why he decided to stay in Kyiv in the first days of the great war (Photo:Світ Навіворіт/YouTube)

Zelenskyy explained why he decided to stay in Kyiv in the first days of the great war (Photo:Світ Навіворіт/YouTube)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has explained why he decided to remain Kyiv after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion on Feb. 24, 2022 in an interview with journalist Dmytro Komarov for his special project “A year. Behind the Scenes”

 Zelenskyy said that in the early days of the war, there were many different opinions among his colleagues and Western partners on how to ensure his personal safety. Various proposals were put forward on where the president should go, and where he should hide.

Zelenskyy explained why, in his opinion, it was important to stay in Kyiv.

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“I think if I had left, there would have been a greater risk of the capital being captured,” the president said.

“Inside the country, they also said: ‘The main thing is to save the president. And even if we only have Western Ukraine left, you should be the president there. Then we will start rebuilding and restoring, and reclaiming territories.’”

However, Zelenskyy did not even want to leave the Ukrainian capital.

“I remember reading books about World War II, about the occupation of Kyiv,” Zelenskyy said.

“I know what a capital of any country is like. If the capital falls and the leader flees, there is no state.”

He added that he did not discuss his decision to stay in Kyiv with his family.

“My family knows me. Such a dialogue would have weakened me,” said Zelenskyy.

The Ukrainian president also spoke about the defense of Bankova Street (the location of the President’s Office) and noted that he had no doubt that Kyiv would stand.

“Our guys defended (the city). I was confident that we would receive help from our partners. I believed that it was impossible to completely occupy Kyiv.”

“I think no one would have been taken prisoner because we had a very serious defense of Bankova. We would have stayed there until the end. We had boxes of weapons, with ammunition, at various points on Bankova,” said Zelenskyy, adding that he has his own weapon and is skilled in using it.

In the conversation with Komarov, the president also talked about his parents, who remained in Ukraine during the war.

“My parents know everything, they are here, in Ukraine, at home. They ask the same things as other parents, for example, whether I have eaten,” said Zelenskyy.

“My father also says: We’re watching. Well done. Finish them.”

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