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Zelensky explains why he carries a gun — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union



Ukraine’s president says he wouldn’t let himself be taken prisoner

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told a local television station that he and his staff would have died fighting, rather than being captured, if Russian troops entered his Kiev headquarters at the start of the conflict.

“I know how to shoot” Zelensky said in an interview aired Saturday by Ukrainian channel 1+1. The Ukrainian leader claimed he was carrying a handgun, but dismissed a reporter’s suggestion that he may have used his pistol to kill himself rather than be captured.

“No no no,” said Zelensky. “It’s not [to shoot] myself. To retaliate, surely.

Zelensky explained that it would have been a “disgrace” if he had been taken prisoner by Russian forces, referring to the early stages of the conflict. After Moscow launched its military operation in February 2022, Ukrainian officials claimed Russian special forces attempted to infiltrate Kyiv and break into the presidential headquarters on Bankova Street.

“I think if they had gone inside, into the administration, we wouldn’t be here,” Zelenskiy said in the interview. “Nobody would have been taken prisoner because we had prepared a very serious defense… We would have been there until the end.”

Zelensky said some of his Western partners recommended he flee Kyiv, but he reportedly refused an American evacuation flight to defend the capital.

According to the Times, however, Zelensky and his associates spent nearly two months in a bunker after the conflict broke out, instead of the planned two weeks. The British newspaper claimed the secrecy around the bunker was so high that those accompanying the head of state into hiding had to sign a special non-disclosure agreement and were forbidden from revealing details of the design , the location, the amenities or even the food they were given.

Putin promised not to kill Zelensky – former Israeli PM

At the start of the conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly told then-Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett that he was not seeking to capture kyiv or kill Zelensky. The Kremlin has neither confirmed nor denied Bennett’s claim.

“I knew that Zelensky was threatened, in a bunker”, Bennett spoke about his March 2022 meeting with Putin in Moscow. He claimed that the Russian president assured him that Zelensky was not a target.

Bennett would then have “immediately” called Zelensky to reassure him “Putin is not going to kill you.” According to Bennet just “two hours later, Zelensky went to his office and took a selfie,” in which the President of Ukraine proclaimed “I am not afraid.”

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