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Elections, Zaluzhnyi, USA and path to peace: Zelenskyy's insights in interview with FOX News

Elections, Zaluzhnyi, USA and path to peace: Zelenskyy's insights in interview with FOX News Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo: Getty Images)

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invites American counterparts Joe Biden and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump to the frontline in Ukraine. He also explains the dismissal of Valerii Zaluzhnyi, discusses the tasks on the front, and explains why he won't negotiate with Vladimir Putin.

RBC-Ukraine provides the main statements from an interview with FOX News chief political anchor and executive editor of "Special Report" Bret Baier, near the front line in the Kharkiv direction, just a few kilometers away from heavy fighting.

Zelenskyy emphasizes the importance of the interview in such a dangerous location.

"It's very important for me like I said before we started. The United States [needs] to see different war in the capital and here closer to [the] front line."

Invitation to American leaders

Zelenskyy called on US President Joe Biden and Republican party favorite Donald Trump to visit Ukraine and see firsthand what is happening at the forefront of "this tragedy."

"I'm happy to see all the candidates and all the people who are decision-makers or can support not to be against just to understand what the war in Ukraine means... Who opened this war, who began it, and what's going on, what's around. What brilliant Ukraine we had. We have [a] beautiful country, but in the war, it's another picture and other lives," he said.

Trump and his statement "ending the war in 24 hours"

Responding to Trump's statement that he could supposedly end the war in 24 hours if elected US president, Zelenskyy expressed his lack of understanding of how to accomplish such a feat. Zelenskyy said that Trump would not be able to solve this problem with him alone and offered to meet on the front line, where everything would be explained to him.

"He will explain what his thoughts are, maybe he has some ideas. I don't know... he will see what's going on, and after that, I think he will change his mind, and we all understand that there are no two sides of this war: There is only one enemy, and this is the position of Putin," he added.

Overthrowing Putin

Zelenskyy believes that the Russian people can overthrow Putin and bring about change. However, this is a difficult task, especially because "Putin is afraid only of strong, and he's not accepting any weakness.," which means that Ukraine must be "strong on the battlefield, prevent [Russia] from occupying anything."

"His positions will be weaker if, with more and more casualties, the people in Russia will see those doubts that will be against this war," the President noted.

Diplomatic resolution and negotiations with Putin

Zelenskyy criticized Russian dictator Putin's interview with Tucker Carlson and said that he does not need to listen to more than two hours of "bull----," hinting at what Putin said about Ukraine. According to him, Putin is an unreliable person. He also recalled that French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz received guarantees from Putin that Russia would not occupy Ukraine.

He also questioned the words that Russia supposedly has no interest in attacking Poland, Latvia, and "anywhere else," adding that Putin's entourage says that he has no intention of stopping "until they reach their goals."

Ukrainian losses in the war

When asked about losses, Zelenskyy responded vaguely, mentioning tens of thousands. But he presented them as smaller than those suffered by the Russian Federation. According to him, Russia "loses five soldiers for every one Ukrainian soldier killed."

When the war will end

The President is convinced that the world fears changes in Russia and the loss of power by Vladimir Putin.

"The world is not really ready for Putin to be able to lose his power. The world is afraid of changes in the Russian Federation. The United States, the European countries, and the global South can choose. Putin has broken all the red lines. He's an inadequate person, he is a threat to the whole world, and he will destroy NATO. And he will try to do that. So when the world will understand that, okay, that's it. So in this moment, the war will end," he said.

American aid

Zelenskyy expressed gratitude for everything Joe Biden and Congress have done. He also addressed American lawmakers.

"If they want to be very pragmatic, the price we are asking now to support, this price is less than it will be in the future … They will pay much more, much more. We just want to live, to survive. We don't have an alternative—congressmen, just people with their families, with their children. And I think they understand that we are just trying to save our houses with children and just say that if you think that we are fighting for the common values, so let that help us and let's support, let's be in unity," he said.

Tasks on the front

According to Zelenskyy, the number one task now is defense.

"To continue our successful story on the Black Sea. And we will do it. I will not now go deeply into details, but they will get some surprises, I mean Russians. That is very important. The south is important. To defend the east, where they have more than 200,000 soldiers, is also very important to defend. Of course, we will prepare a new counteroffensive and new operations. Of course, I am not saying that we will just stand. It depends on a lot of things," he noted.

Corruption in Ukraine

Regarding Americans' concerns regarding corruption, Zelenskyy stated that "everything is clean." According to him, Ukrainians have adhered to reforms required by the European Union. However, he also noted that it is challenging to implement new "difficult anti-corruption reforms" during wartime and emphasized that Ukraine has received support for transparency from the EU.

Presidential elections

Zelenskyy denies that he "canceled elections in the country." According to him, the law does not allow presidential elections to be held during wartime. Nevertheless, considering the ratings, he is confident that he would be reelected if elections were held today.

Arms production

The President continues to insist that without Western assistance, Ukraine will not be able to sustain its defense. Still, he is striving to strengthen the economy and stability, which in turn may allow for the increase of domestic arms production. According to him, what is needed is robust and long-range armament, missiles, and artillery.

"It's not about the types, with the production. Increasing it each day, yes, and air defense just to defend people to give the possibility, economy to increase it means to give the possibility of the security situation," he noted.

Return of refugees

Zelenskyy is confident that the economy will grow if Ukrainians return from abroad.

"A lot of jobs, a lot of taxes, so, I mean, this is to be more strong and, of course, to push them as much as possible, to push them. And in this position, in the strong position, we found one very important diplomatic route. It's a document," he added.