Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that the world must be prepared for the option that the president of Russia could use tactical nuclear weapons or chemical weapons, since Vladimir Putin “does not value Ukrainian lives.”
“Chemical weapons, they should do it, they could do it, for them the life of the people, nothing. That's why,” Zelenskyy said in an interview with CNN on Friday.
“We should think not be afraid, not be afraid but be ready. But that is not a question for Ukraine, not only for Ukraine but for all the world, I think,” he added.
Zelenskyy told the network that the Bucha massacre amounts to the definition of genocide, as U.S. President Joe Biden described it.
“They just killed people. Not soldiers, people. They just shot people in the streets. People were riding bicycles, taking the bus or just walking down the street. There were corpses lining the streets,” he said.
The Ukrainian president noted that he wishes to see Biden paying a visit to his war-torn country to see the devastation for himself.
“I think he will. I mean, it’s his decision, of course,” Zelenskyy told CNN anchor Jake Tapper. “And about the safety situation, it depends. I mean that. But I think he’s the leader of the United States, and that’s why he should come here to see.”
Officials in Washington are still debating whether Biden should go, even though the president himself has already expressed interest in a visit. In his trip to Poland last month, Biden told reporters that others were preventing him from visiting Ukraine.
“They will not let me, understandably, I guess, cross the border and take a look at what’s going on in Ukraine,” Biden said at a briefing.
Zelenskyy also invited French President Emmanuel Macron to come visit, following his remarks that the use of the term genocide is not “constructive to raise the rhetoric.”
Speaking from his office in Kyiv, Zelenskyy said that Ukraine is anticipating a significant escalation in fighting in the coming days, especially in the eastern and southern parts of the country. He noted that he is not willing to give up territories in the East of Ukraine in order to end the war, and that Russia still threatens the capital Kyiv with long-range weaponry.
Nevertheless, the Ukrainian president expressed confidence in the interview that his forces would win the war against Russia.
“All of us want to fight,” he said. “But we all have to do our best for this war not to be endless. The longer it is, the more we would lose. All these losses will be just like that one.”
Ukrainian officials estimate that about 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian troops have died in the war, and more than 10,000 have been injured. Civilian casualties are more difficult to quantify, Zelenskyy said. His military officials claim that Russia's casualty numbers are anywhere between 19,000 to 20,000. Russia has acknowledged 1,351 military casualties so far, according to CNN.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.