President of Ukraine 

Interview of the President of Ukraine for Russian media from "Zygar" YouTube channel, "Rain" TV channel, "Meduza" portal, "Kommersant" and "Novaya Gazeta"

The Russian Federation has been trying to destabilize the political situation in Ukraine for several years, but these attempts have failed, so the armed aggression against our state has not achieved its goals. This was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an interview for Russian media from "Zygar" YouTube channel, "Rain" TV channel, "Meduza" portal, "Kommersant" and "Novaya Gazeta".

The Head of State stressed that Russia was making efforts to destabilize the situation in Ukraine through the activities of certain political parties, which, among other things, participated in local elections.

The President noted that Russia has chosen the tactics of victory of pro-Russian forces in the regions of our state and even bought local organizations of some of them.

"After that, we saw the first steps - in certain local, district or regional councils, they came up with ultimatums: to block, to remove representatives of the ruling party somewhere. Somewhere they insisted that certain reforms should not be applied, as they are moving towards decentralization of power and will figure it out themselves," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The Head of State noted that these forces of Russian influence were trying to initiate early elections to the Verkhovna Rada to provoke political chaos in Ukraine.

"This destabilization was necessary in order to split the majority with strong regional governance. Chaos in the economy and instability of the political spirit in Ukraine would lead to escalation on the part of the Russian Federation," the President said.

According to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, such destabilization could have greatly simplified Russia's plans to occupy Ukraine, but destabilization has not taken place.

According to the President, the political leadership of the Russian Federation may have received false predictions that the Ukrainian people will meet the occupiers "with flowers and smiles" and the current government allegedly has no support in society.

"And then, when they saw that things were going a little wrong, of course, the parallel solution was to neutralize those who stabilize the situation in power. And when there is a war, who can guarantee stability? During martial law, only the President can by virtue of his powers," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, explaining why there were forceful attempts to eliminate him.

The Ukrainian side is ready to exchange Russian prisoners of war for Ukrainian prisoners of war before the end of hostilities. 

"Lists are being compiled. Our military, I know, made lists. There are lists of all those who are in captivity. I don't know if everyone is interested in them. Politicians, I think, are not very interested in them. I'm just not sure that the Russian side needs these lists," the Head of State said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that he stood for exchanging prisoners of war without waiting for the end of the war.

"It is not necessary to act according to some generally accepted canons: like let’s wait until the end of the war, or let’s capture more... I do not understand that. I believe that there is an agreement to exchange everyone for everyone, we have this number - let's exchange for this number. Let’s not measure: 10 for 10, 11 for 11,” the President said.

He also noted that Ukraine does not want to leave the corpses of Russian soldiers on its territory, but wants to hand them over to the relatives of the dead.

"They (the Russian side - ed.) first refused, then offered us some bags... It all looks like... You know, even when a dog or a cat dies, people don't do so. These are garbage bags. I don't understand what people think, what the parents of these children think," the President said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that for him, as the President of a warring country, such an attitude is unacceptable even towards soldiers of an enemy state.

"It's not cattle. And why is it dreadful? Because if this is the attitude towards their own people, then what is the attitude towards everyone else? And we are definitely not “friends” for the Russian government," he concluded.

The Head of State stressed that after February 24, Ukrainians began to treat Russians much worse, losing the emotional component of attitude not only to Russia itself, but also to the people of this country.

"A global historical and cultural split took place during this month. It's not just a war, I think it's much worse," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The President noted that some Russians were forced to leave their country in protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but the majority of the population supports the actions of the Russian authorities.

"I think this is the worst disappointment that has happened. Disappointment that turned into hatred of the nations. I have no answer as to how it can be returned, there is no answer as to whether it will ever return," the head of state said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that the Russian occupiers are committing horrific crimes, destroying the cities and villages of Ukraine, leaving no infrastructure.

"They enter. If the local government or someone does not want that - the local government is abducted. People are starting to shout something - everything is burned out," the President said.

According to the President, such actions will provoke the growing hatred of Ukrainians for everything related to Russia, including the culture and language of this country.

"Vladimir Putin has done the worst for the Russian language. I believe the damage is irreparable. Of course, people outside of Russia will sometimes be embarrassed to speak Russian in any society. This was the case after the war, as a result of which a specific aggressor was recognized in the world," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

The President of Ukraine stressed that before the war some Ukrainians were loyal to Russia, but now, when the aggressor destroyed their cities and killed their relatives, this attitude has changed to hatred.