Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lamented the “very difficult” position the coastal city of Mariupol is in after it has been the center of Russia’s military aggression in recent weeks.
“The situation is very difficult in Mariupol,” he said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” that aired Sunday. “It’s clear that things won’t get better. With each passing day, it’s growing more unstable.”
Russia issued an ultimatum to Ukrainian solders fighting in the city to surrender by Sunday.
Zelenskyy says it is nearly impossible to estimate the loss of life or destruction suffered by the assault on Mariupol and that he lacks faith in his Russian counterparts.
“I don’t trust the Russian military and Russian leadership,” he said.
Switching at times between his home language and English, Zelenskyy again raised the possibility of Russia deploying its nuclear arsenal.
“They could do it,” he said. “For them, life of the people is nothing.”
He continued to express a desire for the invasion to come to an end, without any concrete signs of when that would be or under what circumstances.
“There are millions of people who want to live,” Zelenskyy said. “All of us want to fight. But we all have to do our best for this war not to be endless. The longer it is, the more we would lose.”
He expressed optimism that President Joe Biden would visit Ukraine in the near future after the White House this week signaled that it is exploring whether to send a high-ranking official to meet with the Ukrainian leader. However, the contours of those deliberations are still unsettled.
“It's his decision, of course,” Zelenskyy said of Biden, nodding to the security risks involved. “But I think he's the leader of the United States, and that's why he should come here to see.”