Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday that amid the Russian operation, Ukraine will become “big Israel”, with security being the top priority for the country over the next 10 years.
In an interview with Ukrainian journalists broadcast on national television, Zelensky also said that “Ukraine had no option but to negotiate with Russia to end fighting,” but him and Russian President Vladimir Putin might not talk in person.
Zelensky was speaking after accusing Russian troops of allegedly carrying out extra-judicial killings in the town of Bucha west of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
“All of us, including myself, will perceive even the possibility of negotiations as a challenge,” Zelensky said.
“The challenge is internal, first of all, one’s own, human challenge. Then, when you pull yourself together, and you have to do it, I think that we have no other choice.”
He said the events in Bucha were unforgivable and signaled that Moscow should recognize what its troops were alleged to have done.
The Russian news agency Interfax cited a deputy Russian foreign minister as saying talks between the two sides were continuing via video link.