May 28, 2024

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“The world’s fault”: Zelensky speaks amid Russian attack

“The world’s fault”: Zelensky speaks amid Russian attack

With exclusive access, ABC News joined Zelensky on a tour of a city hospital, where he met wounded soldiers in the Northern Defense and presented them with medals for bravery.

“It’s really important for me to be here,” he told us as we walked down the halls.

He stopped at each wing while an officer read the names of each wounded soldier. He approached each bed and presented them with a medal. But this was a very hasty visit. The president’s safety is always a concern, but this trip to Kharkiv was fraught with danger, and his team moved quickly around the building.

“The situation is very serious,” Zelensky said. “We cannot afford to lose Kharkiv.”

As he stood near the injured soldiers, it was very clear that the delay in American aid was having a direct impact on the war, and the situation along the northeastern border. He added that hundreds of people lost their lives or were injured in the past few days. He added that many of them were soldiers from this area, so it was important for him to be there to support them.

We asked him: Is this America’s fault? What is happening now in Kharkiv?

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“It’s the world’s fault,” he replied. They gave Putin the opportunity to occupy. But now the world can help.”

He is always careful not to criticize the United States, but Zelensky was a little more frank than we usually see.

We asked him how he felt after Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit this week. On Wednesday, the US Secretary of State announced an additional $2 billion in aid, in addition to the $60 billion he promised in late April. Zelensky paused. I could feel his frustration.

He said: “The dialogue is good.” “But we need help now.”

There is a sense here, close to the brutal fighting on the front line, that the visit was little more than a show of support.

“All we need is two Patriot systems,” he said. Russia would not be able to occupy Kharkiv if we had those things.”

I told him that many Americans are concerned about the amount of money being spent on Ukraine. This election year, this will be an issue that American voters care about.

“This money is not given to Ukraine,” he said. “It’s money spent in American factories, creating American jobs…And we’re not just fighting for our freedom. We’re fighting for our freedom.” “If it is not Ukraine, it will be another country.”

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After the president left, we returned to some of the soldiers he visited.

Maxim, who nearly died in Vovchansk on Wednesday, had his leg lifted with three huge metal pins to keep it straight. These are the men who protect Kharkiv. He didn’t seem too bothered by his medal.

“It’s an honor,” he told me. “But I would rather give this award to the men who saved my life.”