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Ukraine's Zelenskyy urges the world to stand up to Putin

Zelenskyy says Putin will spark World War III
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy warns of another World War unless unified steps are taken against Putin 01:54

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley the world must unite against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"There are nations with billions of people who should tell him that the steps you [Putin] are taking are leading to a third world war," Zelenskyy warned through a translator.

Pelley interviewed the Ukrainian president in the presidential compound in Kyiv last week, for the 56th season premiere of 60 Minutes.

Putin's long game

Putin's troops invaded Ukraine in February of 2022. Despite Russia initially anticipating a quick conquest, the war has dragged on. This spring, Ukraine launched a counter-offensive and has regained some territory it initially lost.
Zelenskyy told 60 Minutes that if Western nations provide Ukraine with advanced weapons, his country will be able to expel Russian troops much faster.

The Ukrainian President is now braced for a long conflict as the Russian leader hopes Ukraine's western allies will lose interest in supporting the war. 

What Zelenskyy told 60 Minutes last year

Pelley last interviewed Zelenskyy from his command center in Kyiv in April 2022, months after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an attack on its western neighbor. 

"We are defending the ability of a person to live in the modern world," Zelenskyy told Pelley through a translator. "We are defending the right to live. I never thought this right was so costly. These are human values. So that Russia doesn't choose what we should do and how I'm exercising my rights. That right was given to me by God and my parents."

Scott Pelley interviews Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in April 2022. ERIC KERCHNER/60 MINUTES

Despite concerns for his safety following the invasion, Zelenskyy chose to stay in Ukraine. 

"I told them this is my choice. And I can't do it any other way," Zelenskyy told 60 Minutes through a translator. "I'm the president of my country. I'm the president of our people. And even if I wasn't president, I would have stayed here. [My family] understood. Not only understood, but fully supported my decision. Fully."

Watch Full 2023 Interview 

You can watch Scott Pelley's report on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy below.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy: The 2023 60 Minutes Interview 13:25


The video above was produced by Keith Zubrow and edited by Sarah Shafer Prediger. Kristel Garcés was the Broadcast Associate.

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