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Zelensky: Trump will be 'against Americans' if he supports Russia over Ukraine

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 26, 2024 8:59 PM 3 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a press conference during the "Ukraine Year 2024" forum in Kyiv on Feb. 25, 2024, marking the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Sergei Supinsky / AFP)
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Former U.S. President Donald Trump will go against the will of U.S. citizens if he supports Russia in its all-out war against Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with CNN published on Feb. 26.

As the Republican Party's most likely nominee for the upcoming 2024 presidential election, Trump's sway over the party has contributed to the continuing deadlock in Congress over U.S. aid to Ukraine. The Senate passed a funding bill containing $60 billion in aid for Ukraine earlier in February, but House Speaker Mike Johnson has so far declined to bring it to a vote.

Despite the impasse, Zelensky said he had spoken with Speaker Johnson recently and felt optimistic that funding would ultimately be passed.

"(Johnson) said that he will do everything to support Ukraine, and he's on our side, and he understands how heroic our people, our soldiers and civilians (are)," he said.

Opinion: As an American in Avdiivka, what is Congress doing?
I am an American military veteran, callsign “Jackie,” and I am writing from Donbas in Ukraine. I am originally from Orange County, California. I served in the U.S. military for eight years, stationed in Colorado, South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. I also worked as a contractor at the

At the same time, top Democratic lawmakers have argued that Johnson's inaction on Ukraine is ultimately due to Trump's influence.

Trump has long criticized U.S. aid to Ukraine, a position in line with his "America First" foreign policy views. He has claimed that he would be able to negotiate peace in Ukraine within 24 hours, although he did not elaborate on concrete steps to achieve this.

Trump also raised concerns among NATO allies when he said he would encourage Russia to do "whatever the hell it wants" to members who do not meet the 2% defense spending mark.

Zelensky said that Trump does not really understand Russian President Vladimir Putin because the U.S. has never directly fought Russia.

"I don't think he understands that Putin will never stop," Zelensky said.

Zelensky also addressed the impasse on U.S. aid, saying that Ukraine will not only be unable to undertake any new counteroffensives but will likely struggle to defend its current positions.

His comments echoed those of other Ukrainian and U.S. officials, who have said that the lack of military assistance from the U.S. has directly contributed to the deteriorating Ukrainian position on the battlefield, illustrated by the retreat from Avdiivka earlier in February.

Zelensky responded to a claim from U.S. Senator J.D. Vance, an outspoken opponent of U.S. aid to Ukraine, who said that the outcome of the war would not change even if Congress finally passed further aid.

Vance "does not understand what is going on here...to understand it is to come to the frontline to see what’s going on… without this support. And he will understand that millions of people will be killed," Zelensky said.

"God bless (that) you don’t have the war on your territory."

Zelensky in Munich: ‘If Ukraine left alone, Russia will destroy us’
“Keeping Ukraine in the artificial deficits of weapons, particularly in a deficit of artillery and long-range capabilities, allows (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to adapt to the current intensity of the war,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

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