Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky believes that the West could have prevented Russian aggression, but humoured Putin for a long time.
“Could the West have prevented this? I believe that there is a high percentage that they could have done this. I believe that Putin may not hear me. But he could not hear the United States, Great Britain or the Western world. The West was not united. They [in the West] are people of principle, they defend common values, but, first of all, they think about the political situation inside the state, and only then what is happening outside,” Zelensky said in an interview with the 60 Minutes program on the American CBS television channel, published on Monday by the President’s Office of Ukraine.
According to Zelensky, “they could put powerful pressure on Putin, and he would be forced to hear them.”
At the same time, Zelensky said that he has no legal claims against the leaders of NATO countries, however, in general, in his opinion, they are responsible.
“When you can close the sky… Yes, it is scary that the Third World War will start. It is scary, I understand it. I cannot put pressure on them every day, because everyone is afraid of war. But the world is responsible,” the president said.
“I saw the leaders of small countries with big hearts. Not everyone played down to Putin. But the one who has something to lose always flirts. Small Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia are countries with big hearts. Countries where major business is Germany always have a choice and difficulties, France, Italy, Portugal, where there are great interests, great trade, long historical relations, cultural ties, many people who emigrated with the capital of the Russian Empire went to Europe with their families. And therefore the influence there is great,” he said, noting that all of these countries tried not to spoil relations with Russia.
“No one wants to leave the comfort zone. And fighting Putin, supporting Ukraine, is leaving the comfort zone. Political, financial, and even risking a career, because a war may start. A financial crisis, people may not forgive,” Zelensky said.
At the same time, according to him, “there are less and less of these people every day.”
“The war in Ukraine, which separated our families, at the same time united us as a nation and united the West,” the head of state said.
As of April 1, 2022, the KSE Institute estimated the damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure from the war in the country at $68.2 billion, or almost UAH 2 trillion, while over the past week the estimate of losses increased by $5 billion, according to a press release of the analytical division of the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), KSE Institute.
“Over the week, the damage caused to Ukraine’s infrastructure during the war waged by Russia has increased by more than $5 billion. As of April 1, the total amount of damages is $68.2 billion,” the KSE said, referring to the Russia Will Pay project.
“Since the beginning of Russia’s military aggression on February 24, at least 533 institutions of secondary and higher education, 300 kindergartens, 196 healthcare institutions, 129 factories/warehouses are destroyed or damaged. The Ministry for Communities and Territories Development estimates that 6,800 residential buildings were damaged or destroyed. According to the KSE Institute, the total amount of damaged/destroyed residential real estate is about 26 million square meters,” the report says.
“In addition, 54 administration buildings, 260 bridges and bridge crossings, 10 military airfields, 8 airports, 2 ports were damaged by the war. During full-scale Russia’s invasion, the occupiers caused damage to Ukraine, destroying or damaging 64 religious buildings and 51 cultural objects,” it reads.
As reported, the Office of the President, the Ministry of Economy and the analytical center at the Kyiv School of Economics, KSE Institute, launched the Russia Will Pay project, a portal to collect information about the destroyed objects in the country as a result of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine.
On the special website https://damaged.in.ua/ you can provide information about the damage caused as a result of the war against Ukraine. In the future, this information will be used by the Ukrainian government as evidence in international courts for compensation by Russia for the damage caused.