60 minutes: Message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Australia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a very important message to our country from his secret war room.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a message to Australia from his secret war room.

Channel 9 reporter Tom Steinfort. traveled to Ukraine to interview President Zelensky from inside his secret war room

President Zelensky had invited Steinfort “to his secret sanctuary to explain the horror spectacle that is this ongoing war”.

Steinfort spoke about the meeting on Twitter, saying it was “a great privilege to spend several days with President Zelensky.”

the 60 minutes journalist met Zelensky, 41, in what has been his home since the start of the war; a makeshift bunker.

President Zelensky, dressed in his military green fatigues, sent a special message to Australia, saying that his country will never forget the support we have offered to Ukraine.

“I have to be very grateful to the Aussies,” he said.

“You have already helped us and that’s true but we need more, that’s also true.

“I’m sorry. I’m the president of a country at war, a country at war.

“With friends like you, such respectful friends, maybe my English is not good, I’m sorry dear Australians, I’m really sorry, but I think you understand my feelings, that’s the main thing.

“Ukraine will always remember this. It will be written in our historical books about your help, thank you very much.

The interview started with a joke from Zelensky:60 minutes, so my question is not intelligent. How long will it last (laughs)? »

However, the mood quickly turns dark. When asked how it felt to have people wanting to kill him, he was more concerned about other people.

“Well, that’s 10 assassination attempts, that means there are only 10 people ready to have me killed,” Zelensky said.

“It’s not bad, when people are tortured, when people’s bodies are found in the wells, I think, considering all this, my situation is not that horrible, but I am afraid for these people.”

However, the president, like so many of his compatriots, worries every day for his own family, his wife and high school sweetheart, Olena, and their two children – his 17-year-old daughter, Oleksandra, and his nine-year-old son. , Kyrylo.

They fled kyiv and are hiding.

Later, Zelensky became visibly upset as he recalled the atrocities that took place in Bucha, a town 45 minutes from kyiv where Russian soldiers massacred townspeople.

There were images of residents with their arms tied behind their backs, of a bullet in the head, of women being raped, of an old man on a bicycle being executed, his feet still on the pedals.

Steinfort asked, “What you saw at Bucha clearly touched your heart. Do you have any doubt that Russian forces, under the orders of President Putin, are committing war crimes against your people? »

To which he replied, “Well, I felt pain. I felt, uh, anger. I felt, a desire for revenge. And then after that came a lack of understanding, how Could you do something to- to people, to- to- to humanity? How could you torture so many people?

“Look, I’m not afraid to show some kind of weakness. You can lose your humanity and I don’t want to lose it.

“I want to keep my humanity and that’s why I watch all this, I watch pictures.

Getting used to a war is the worst possible habit.

Devastatingly, the latest number of civilians murdered by Russian troops stands at nearly 3,000, including 200 children.

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