Zelensky questions Trump's claim to end Russia-Ukraine war in 24 hrstext_fields
Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has questioned Donald Trump's claim that he could end Russia’s war against Kyiv within 24 hours if he is re-elected in 2024.
During an interview with NBC News, Zelensky also invited Trump to Ukraine to physically witness the scale of devastation that Russia's invasion has caused since it was launched in February 2022.
“If he can come here, I will need 24 minutes – yes, 24 minutes… to explain (to) President Trump that he can’t manage this war. He can’t bring peace because of Putin,” CNN quoted the Ukrainian leader as saying in the interview.
While speaking to CNN in May, the former President claimed that the war would not have happened if he had been President, when Russia’s full-scale invasion began on February 24, 2022, and that he could settle the conflict in a day if he was re-elected.
“If I’m president, I will have that war settled in one day, 24 hours. I’ll meet with Putin. I’ll meet with Zelensky. They both have weaknesses and they both have strengths. And within 24 hours that war will be settled," he told CNN.
In the NBC News interview, Zelensky also praised US President Joe Biden for visiting Ukraine earlier this year, and said: “I think he understood some details which you can understand only being here. So, I invite President Trump.”
Since Ukraine launched its counteroffensive earlier this year, it has managed to retake just a sliver of land, rebuffed by nearly 1,000 km of heavily fortified Russian defences.
Russia still occupies nearly one-fifth of Ukraine, and in recent weeks has launched fresh offensives in the east, around Avdviika and Vuhledar in Donetsk and near Kupyansk in Kharkiv.
Zelensky called the situation "difficult”, but did not think the war had reached a “stalemate”.
“We hold the initiative in our hands. You can imagine what a full-scale war or what two years of a full-scale war is like. Everybody gets tired. Even the iron gets tired. But, nevertheless, I am proud of our warriors and of our people, that they are strong… Our people have a strong desire to win."
With inputs from agencies