President Volodymyr Zelensky is holding a six-hour “press marathon” in Kyiv on Oct. 10. The is Zelensky’s first big press conference since he became president in May. It’s taking place inside the Kyiv Food Market, a popular new food hall in Kyiv.

10:58 p.m. Zelensky also commented on accusations that the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council’s attempts to strip the NewsOne and 112 Ukraine channels of their broadcasting licenses were a crackdown on free speech.

“As far as 112 Ukraine is concerned, this is a licensing issue, not a political one,” he said. “They should take part in a tender and try to prolong the license. And NewsOne hasn’t been shut down, as far as I know. I’ll find out about this issue.”

10:37 p.m. Asked whether U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin could reach a deal against the interests of Ukraine, Zelensky said that “the president of the U.S. told me that he supports us 100 percent as far as Crimea and the Donbas are concerned.”


“But this is life,” he said. “If there are some negotiations between the U.S. and Russia about Ukraine without Ukraine’s participation, this is a bad signal.”

6:03 p.m. Zelensky is ready to dismiss Ivan Bakanov, head of SBU, state security service if he sees any proves that Bakanov cooperates with Anatoliy Matios, former chief military prosecutor, who was involved in corruption scandals.

“Regarding the accusations that Matios consults Ivan Bakanov, head of state security service if you show me some proofs I will dismiss Bakanov. If there are proofs, I will sack the head of state security service,” he told the journalist who asked about the alleged corruption of Matios and former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko.

“Regarding the criminal cases regarding Mr. Matios, I could help you to meet with the prosecutor general,” he added.

4:26 p.m. Zelensky doesn’t want Russia’s war against Ukraine to end up with frozen conflict.


“I wouldn’t like to have conflict in Donbas frozen. I wouldn’t like us to have another Abkhazia or Transnistria,” he said.

He added there are many similarities between the ongoing war in Ukrainian Donbas and frozen conflicts in Abkhazia, which is part of Georgia, and Transnistria, which is part of Moldova.

“The only thing which is different in our conflict from Transnistria and Abkhazia is the fact that there is still some shooting,” he said.

3:30 p.m. Zelensky said he had met Odesa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov at the Presidential Administration and had discussed the Odesa Seaport, roads, sewage and the condition of buildings in the city.

Zelensky hinted that early mayoral elections would not be held in Odesa. Scheduled elections are planned for 2020 in the city.

“(Trukhanov) says ‘the people elected me’,” he said. “Currently I can’t hold local elections. (And I told him) that he should understand the people’s attitude towards him. And that attitude will be a reaction to Trukhanov during the mayoral elections.”

Zelensky said he had told Trukhanov to stop “the persecution of civil society” –  a reference to numerous attacks on civic activists in Odesa that Trukhanov’s critics blame on him. Trukhanov denies the accusations.


“I told him that (civic activists) are being persecuted and that they must stop doing that,” he said. “And he’s saying that there is no evidence for that. We’ve got to have evidence in this case.”

Zelensky also denied having “any relations” with Trukhanov.

“We’re not friends and we don’t celebrate anything together,” Zelensky said. “I don’t have any relations with him.”

Zelensky went on to say that all criminal cases against Trukhanov must be investigated “according to the law.”

“All criminal cases that will be investigated must be investigated according to the law,” he said. “Believe me, I’m not sabotaging any of them.”

1:41 p.m. Zelensky said it makes sense to negotiate with oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky about the future of Privatbank, which the government nationalized back in 2016. He said this way the government could solve the bank issue outside the court, where Kolomoisky is suing Ukraine and where the government’s position is weak.

“I think it makes sense to talk to him (Kolomoisky) about this,” he said. 

“If we have a weak position in some situations we need to talk. We need to sit and talk with him that it will not be like this, nobody will give you money back but you want to keep on living in this country,” he said about his possible talk with Kolomoisky. “I’m ready to talk with any oligarch.”


12:20 p.m. Zelensky said he had met with Sergii Gorbatuk, the top investigator in charge of cases into the 2013-2014 EuroMaidan Revolution.

“I wondered whether there would be final results at any time in those cases,” he said. “(Gorbatuk) said ‘it will take years’. And I told him: ‘what does the president have to do to make it faster than years? Five years have already passed. What is needed? More prosecutors, more independence (for the investigators and prosecutors) or who else should you be protected from’?”

12:16 p.m. Zelensky said Arsen Avakov, minister of interior affairs, who managed to survive for more than five years at his post despite criticism of his alleged corruption, is currently on a probation period.

“This is not a compromise, I don’t owe him anything,” Zelensky said about Avakov.

“This is, to be honest, a probation period, we want to see the new faces in the interior ministry.”

Zelensky said the new people are now in charge of the state border guard service and in the National guard. He added that if there will be no results by the end of the year, people would be fired. He didn’t specify if he meant resignation of Avakov.

12:02 p.m. Zelensky answered the criticism regarding his peace plan based on the Steinmeier formula, which sparked mass protests in Kyiv last week. “When some people call this treason, I think treason is to prevent me from executing my presidential duties and promises to stop the war, to limit the number of those killed to zero,” he said.


11:46 a.m. Zelensky said he had set a goal for law enforcers to “show results” in several high-profile criminal cases by Nov. 1, 2019 or by Jan. 1, 2020 at the latest.

“I told them ‘by the end of the year” but Nov. 1 is a key deadline,” he said. “In several high-profile cases that we have discussed at meetings they must demonstrate results.”

11:29 a.m. Zelensky also commented on the Oct. 7 arrest of Serhiy Pashynsky, a former lawmaker from the People’s Front party, without the right of bail. The arrest order that extends until Dec. 4 is for wounding a man with a gun on New Year’s Eve 2016 as a result of an argument about driving.

Pashynsky and his lawyers argued that he had been arrested with blatant procedural violations.

“Is it bad that he was arrested? People on Facebook say it is,” Zelensky said. “…Ask people in the street whether Pashynsky is a bandit, and I guarantee you 100 percent that 100 people out of 100 will say he is.”

11:16 a.m. Zelensky complained that whenever he tried to make law enforcement and anti-corruption efforts more efficient, he was being told that he had no right to interfere with law enforcement.


“If there is a bandit who’s going around and I’m told this person kills and lies and used to be a lawmaker, do I have a right to ask why such people are not being jailed?” Zelensky wondered.

11:11 a.m. Zelensky explained his urge for peace talks by referring to regular killings of Ukrainian soldiers serving in the Donbas.

“To be honest, the statistics data is following — every two days one person (is killed),” Zelensky told the press conference on Oct. 10. “I have a table with their last names,” he added. “Do I have to be in a hurry?”

11:02 a.m. “There is no parliament faster than this one,” Zelensky said, referring to the speed with which the Rada is passing bills. “There are rules of procedure that we can’t violate. And every day we have to find loopholes to bypass some (stumbling blocks) just to pass laws.”

He argued that all of Ukraine’s partners were applauding the speed of the Rada’s work.

Watch it live (in Ukrainian):


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