Hello from London where I interviewed Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the FT’s Global Boardroom conference on Tuesday. The Ukrainian president, who appeared exhausted but as determined as ever, told me over video link that a stalemate in the war with Russia was “not an option” and appealed again to the west for more military support.
The war has entered an attritional phase in the last month. Fighting is now focused in the eastern Donbas region, where Russia is using its superior artillery forces to grind down Ukrainian troops and make territorial gains. During our conversation, Zelenskyy hit out at what he saw as attempts by some western allies to explore the terms of a ceasefire without involving Kyiv. “There cannot be talks behind Ukraine’s back anytime,” he said.
I asked the president how he would define victory in this war. He said if his forces could push Russian forces back to positions they occupied before the invasion, this would be a “serious temporary victory”. But he was clear that winning back sovereignty over all Ukrainian territory was his ultimate goal.
Watch our full interview here (Free to view)