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In an interview with CNN published on Sept. 10, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that cases of corruption in Ukraine don't involve financial or military aid sent by Kyiv's partners.
When asked if he thinks he can stop the corruption that persists in Ukraine and put a system in place that will stop further corruption, Zelensky said that the war has created more sensitivity about the fight for justice, as Ukrainians are "currently fighting for these values."
He also said that he has "no other way" than to try to make the changes necessary to put an end to corruption.
"Here, I don't have alternatives, and I don't want them. We don't want to have any compromises with corrupted people, even thoughts about it," the president told CNN's Fareed Zakaria.
According to a recent poll published by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, 78% of surveyed Ukrainians believe that the president bears direct responsibility for corruption in the government and regional administrations. Only 18% of respondents disagreed with this statement.
In the interview, Zelensky rejected suggestions by some world leaders that Ukraine should compromise with Russia and even give up some of its territories to end the war. He argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn't seek compromises but aims to continue the war against Ukraine and "divide Europe."
According to Ukraine's president, Putin's position is demonstrated by the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Russia's mercenary Wagner Group, who was reportedly killed in a plane crash two months after the group's failed mutiny.
Zelensky told CNN that when Putin had realized that a big part of Russian society supported Prigozhin, "he killed him. But before he killed, he gave him promises, the territory of Belarus (to station mercenary troops), new locations, the Africa issues, and businesses, a lot of different things."
"When you want to have a compromise or a dialogue with somebody, you cannot do it with a liar," Zelensky explained.
The Ukrainian president also spoke about long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, which Kyiv has requested for months.
Zelensky said he would continue negotiations with U.S. President Joe Biden on the supply of ATACMS, hoping to reach a favorable decision as early as this fall.
"His (Biden's) opinion and support are very important to me. I think he can turn this page of the war. He already did it once with HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems."
"It is very important for us not to pause this counteroffensive. That is why I really need them (ATACMS)."