President Zelensky has said he “didn’t understand” recent comments made by Donald Trump in which he claimed he would stop Russia’s war on Ukraine “in 24 hours”, saying he could have done so while previously in office but didn’t do so.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said: “I didn’t understand when Donald Trump said ‘in 24 hours I will bring Putin and Zelensky to the table and end the war.’

“He could have done that, but it didn’t happen. Yes, the question probably wasn’t pressing at the time because there was no full-scale invasion.

“But our territories were occupied.”

Trump was elected president in 2016, two years after Russian forces invaded and illegally occupied Crimea and the parts of the Donbas. The war in Donbas continued throughout all four years of his presidency.

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The only time Ukraine came on the radar of US politics in any major way during Trump’s term in office was during a scandal in which Trump tried to coerce Kyiv into investigating his political rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, by threatening to withhold aid to Ukraine.

Speaking on Thursday evening, the former president suggested that if he was re-elected to the White House, the current U.S. military support for Ukraine could instead be replaced for a push for negotiations in which Kyiv would likely lose territory illegally occupied by Russia.

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Zelensky was asked if the prospect of a Trump victory in next year’s U.S. presidential elections adds pressure to successfully end the war before a possible change of administration.

“Of course, I want the war to end as soon as possible. It has nothing to do with if the (U.S.) administration will remain the same or change,” he replied.

“President Biden is the president during a full-scale war and has been more helpful to us than President Trump, if we are talking about administrations. But at the same time, we must remember that there was no full-scale war at that time and I’m not sure how Trump would have acted at that time.

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“In a situation like this, you are afraid of changes. And to be honest, when you mention a change of administration, I feel the same as anyone – you want changes for the better, but it can be the other way round.”

Trump’s comments came on Thursday night during a town hall event on Fox News, where he also said he “got along with Putin” and made bizarre comments about the current waves of Russian missile and drone attacks against Kyiv.

When asked about Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, he said: “I want to stop that war, I don’t want that war to continue.

“And I’ll stop that war, mark my words, I’ll stop that war in 24 hours.” 

The event’s host Sean Hannity then interrupted to say: “Mr President, let me ask. Serious question. How do you stop that war in 24 hours?” 

He replied: “I will get them into a room, and I know an exact way. You tell one ‘you’re not going to get anything unless you make a deal.’ You tell the other one ‘they’re going to get a lot unless you make a deal.’

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“And you just sit them, and you put them, and you have to make a determination.”

Although Trump did not say which one was which, his comments appear to suggest he would force Ukraine to accept the loss of territories illegally occupied and annexed by Russian forces with the threat of rewarding President Putin with even more if they refuse to accept his offer.

Elsewhere in the interview with The Wall Street Journal, Zelensky said his enemy Russian President Vladimir Putin "should be afraid of the strength of the world."

He called him a "cornered animal, he is afraid to lose his life".

Zelensky also expressed frustration at Western leaders ahead of the NATO summit in Vilnius next month, as pressure has grown to grant Ukraine a roadmap for joining the alliance.

"If we are not acknowledged and given a signal in Vilnius, I believe there is no point for Ukraine to be at this summit," he said.

He acknowledged that Kyiv understood it was not possible to join NATO during the Russian invasion. 

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Comments (19)

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I support
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Yes you are right we have to support them they are the tip of the spear fighting not only for the Ukraine but Europe as well. SLAVA UKRAINE!

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Cedar
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@Philip Tummarello,
The failure of the Budapest Memorandum guaranteees show why it is so essential that Ukraine not be fobbed off with vague reassurances about support, but offered NATO membership as soon as the war ends. And we should facilitate that, by providing Ukraine with what it needs to expel the Russians from its legally defined territories. Sending men into battle without effective air cover is the last thing President Zelensky wanted to do. Ukraine cannot afford to keep losing its people - warriors, the scattered women, & the stolen children.

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Philip Tummarello
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I just returned from Ukraine less than two weeks ago. There will be no negotiated settlement with little putin. How can there be? He lied about the presence of russian troops being in Donbas in 2014. In 2022 he said there would be no russian invasion of Ukraine.
With respect, most of you need a reality check. Trump was the first to give Ukraine "defensive" weapons in 2016. Obama/Biden sent them blankets and MRE's in 2014.
The United States and Britain promised Ukraine their sovereignty and security in exchange for their voluntary dismantling of USSR nuclear stockpiles in their possession. They did so. Now we need to honor our commitment. This is no secret in Ukraine either.

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I support
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After this dam being blow up and the chaos and death in its aftermath. 24 deal nope not gonna happen . Of course we want them to stop killing one another but blowing up dams brings this to another level .

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Frederick
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Does this plan include playing cards with lazers shooting out of his eyes?

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Pavov
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What is this right left we are at war plenty of time to after to fight but right now pointless

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bob
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Russia has no right to demand or bully Ukrainians or Ukraine to accept to be some sort of lap dog on a leash 2nd class country, that indirectly will serving the kremlins geopolitical agenda, and so Kremlin, the RuZZians and Putin can feel better about themselves ...

All the Eastern European countries has more or less joined NATO because they was scared of Russia and want make sure they will stay independent, (and the same goes for the EU financial independence ) Nobody forced Eastern European countries to join , NATO or the EU all of them came running and begging and knocking on the door of NATO and EU by themselves, asking and begging to be let into The EU and NATO  !!

Russia invading Ukriane back 2014 and Georgia back in 2008 and now all out war with Ukraine from 2022++ just showed, why it was and still is a good idea for those Eastern European countries to join NATO, and the EU  because if they didn't they might just have got invaded as well .

The former satellite states like Poland,Romania,Czech Republic and The Baltic states, Slovakia ect ect was running to and knocking at the front door of EU and NATO begging to come inn and thats the truth !! . If Russia was not such a asshole country and stoped constantly bulling neighboring countries maybe other neighboring countries will not need to join NATO and by more open and welcoming to Russia ..

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Demetrios kefalos
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Sounds the article was written by Biden himself. What a joke of a reporter to not write a news worth story and not be so leftist.

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JC
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The only negotiations Trump has any real understanding is in real estate. A much simpler and transactional type of negotiation when compared to an armed military conflict between two countries. And thats why he has NO idea on what he's talking about.

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CarlosB
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I just happened to turn the TV one and a re run of Matilda is on. Matilda's father is Trump.

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I support
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The freeworld applauds what you have given America you are on a high please don't go low.

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I support
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Poland gave jets before F16s where approved. European nations have taken in millions of refugees. Germany and the other wealthier nato nations are stepping up. We shouldn't waste our energy pointing fingers about the past. Europe understands what's at stake. Latvia has given what they can for a smaller and less wealthy nation. So we must keep our eyes forward to achieve our goal. Freedom for the Ukraine and a stronger Nato. We are allies the best deal is one based on victory not political ambition. Glory to the heros!

I support
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@I support, Ukrainian solders are fighting for liberation they are dying for freedom much like American did so let's be there allies in this struggle together we must stand united.

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Tony
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Honestly, Trump is Putins voodoo doll. Came out of his 1st mtg with Putin looking like a chastised child that was ready 2 cry. If he's elected again the UNITED States of America is over. Plz wake up people.. Please!!

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I support
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Probably thinking oh good not him again.

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Bb
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Trump is Phtuns asset. He is no friend of Democracy

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I support
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Got to be hard considering well we all know the history

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BK
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DT is a liar and a grifter. Don't believe a word he says.

T
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@BK, DT’s lie is in his blood

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Chris Shove
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Disappointing Kyiv Post continues to mislead public by failing to report critical fact President Trump approved weapons to Ukraine after Obama & Biden refused to.
https://thehill.com/policy/international/365906-trump-administration-approves-lethal-arms-sales-to-ukraine/

Dirk Hofman
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@Chris Shove, “ the administration approved the sale of Model M107A1 sniper systems and associated equipment to the country at a value of $41.5 million. The administration has not yet moved to approve sales of heavier arms requested by Ukraine’s government, including Javelin anti-tank missiles.”

He approved sniper rifles. Your post is either totally uninformed or completely disingenuous.

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Barruntaranchos
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Zelensky has no choice but to be diplomatic because he knows the support Trump has in part of USA, so he can´t say what he really thinks, that Trump would support Putin 100 %. He is right saying that he wants peace as soon as possible, because that is what Ukraine needs. He doesn´t say that the only hope for Putin is Trump´s victory in 2024. If he could say what he really thinks about Trump ......

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