Zelensky: ‘If We Were A NATO Member, A War Wouldn’t Have Started’

Zelensky: ‘If We Were A NATO Member, A War Wouldn’t Have Started’

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59 min agoZelensky: ‘If we were a NATO member, a war wouldn’t have started’CNN’s Chandelis Duster

Smoke rises after an explosion in Lviv, Ukraine, on Friday, March 18. (AP)Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that if his country had been admitted into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance earlier, then Russia would not have invaded the country.

“If we were a NATO member, a war wouldn’t have started. I’d like to receive security guarantees for my country, for my people,” Zelensky told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on “GPS,” adding that he was grateful for the aid NATO has provided since the invasion began. “If NATO members are ready to see us in the alliance, then do it immediately because people are dying on a daily basis.”

He continued, “But if you are not ready to preserve the lives of our people, if you just want to see us straddle two worlds, if you want to see us in this dubious position where we don’t understand whether you can accept us or not — you cannot place us in this situation, you cannot force us to be in this limbo.””I requested them personally to say directly that we are going to accept you into NATO in a year or two or five, just say it directly and clearly, or just say no,” Zelensky said. “And the response was very clear, you’re not going to be a NATO member, but publicly, the doors will remain open,” he said.


52 min agoMore than 900 civilians killed in Ukraine since invasion began, UN saysFrom CNN’s Martin Goillandeau in London

Ukrainian policemen carry a body after a residential building was hit by shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine on March 18. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)At least 902 civilians have been killed and 1,459 injured since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said Sunday.

The OHCHR added that most of the casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes.

In a statement, the UN body detailed the 902 deaths as “179 men, 134 women, 11 girls, and 25 boys, as well as 39 children and 514 adults whose sex is yet unknown.”

OHCHR said that 248 civilians had died in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

According to the UN Office, the actual figures could be “considerably higher, especially in Government-controlled territory and especially in recent days, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration.”

OHCHR said this would be the case for (among others) the city Mariupol, “where there are allegations of numerous civilian casualties,” adding that the figures were being “further corroborated and not included in the above statistics.”

1 hr 34 min agoZelensky says on CNN that Ukraine cannot compromise its “territorial integrity” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksky said there are “compromises” that Ukraine cannot make in negotiations with Putin.

Zelensky was asked by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria about the Russian demands — including that they recognize that Crimea is part of Russia, the two republics in the Donbas are independent republics, and they guarantee that Ukraine will never be a member of NATO. He said, “There are compromises for which we cannot be ready as an independent state.” 

Zelensky continued: “Any compromises related to our territorial integrity and our sovereignty and the Ukrainian people have spoken about it, they have not greeted Russian soldiers with a bunch of flowers, they have greeted them with bravery, they have greeted them with weapons in their hands.” 

Zelensky said that Russia “cannot curry favor with the citizens of another country forcibly.” 

“You cannot just make a president of another country to recognize anything by the use of force,” he added. 

Some more context: In his interview with CNN, Zelensky said he is ready to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but warned that if any negotiation attempts fail, it could mean the fight between the two countries would lead to “a third World War.”

“I’m ready for negotiations with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations, we cannot end this war,” Zelensky told Zakaria in an exclusive interview Sunday morning.

54 min agoZelensky: “My children know for sure what is happening”From CNN’s Maureen Chowdhury

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with CNN on Sunday, March 20.  (CNN)Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that his children are aware of the realities of war in Ukraine, despite him not overtly telling them about it initially.

“My children know for sure what is happening. I do not know whether it’s good or bad. I have not explained anything to my children. They have said to me war is raging in Ukraine,” Zelensky said.

He added, “Fortunately, we do not have to explain anything to our children. Fortunately, they have access to videos and news. I see to it that their access to these videos is open, they have access to it. I think that my children should not be prohibited from seeing any kind of videos of what Russia has made. My son has to be aware of it because while my son is alive that means that some Ukrainian army member is giving up his own life for this.”Zelensky has two children, a son and a daughter with this wife Olena Zelenska.

“The first two days, we did not talk about it at all. They did not ask questions. They were thinking about it themselves,” Zelensky explained.

He said that his children have hope for victory for Ukraine, “They are proud of Ukraine, very proud. They entertain a sincere hope in our victory.”

2 hr agoRussia will feel more consequences if they use chemical weapons in Ukraine, US Ambassador to UN saysCNN’s Chandelis Duster

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks with CNN on Sunday. (CNN)Russia will face more consequences from the US if it uses chemical weapons in it’s invasion of Ukraine, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Gree

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