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Zelenskyy praises ‘heroic’ soldiers in preview of Bret Baier’s exclusive Fox News interview: ‘no plan B’

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an exclusive interview on the front lines touted major victories since the war with Russia started and refused to discuss any “Plan B” for his forces. 

“During these two years, they occupied the Kharkiv region [and] now we are in this region,” Zelenskyy told FOX News chief political anchor and executive editor of Special Report Bret Baier in an exclusive interview

We unblocked the Black Sea, now we have their grain routes, etc. and destroyed a lot of their ships [in the] Russian fleet,” he added. “That we did during two years. Yea, the last year was mostly complicated for us but … what been done, I think it was good job.” 

Baier traveled 700 miles across Ukraine, taking a 12-hour overnight train to Kyiv and spending seven hours in an armored truck to Kharkiv before another four-hour drive before reaching Zelenskyy on the front lines. 

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Zelenskyy, sitting just half a mile from Russian forces and speaking while artillery fire could be heard in the distance, praised the work of his forces and their incredible gains in contrast to Russia’s single gain: Taking the town of Avdiivka, the biggest gain in nine months for Russia.

The second year of Russia’s war proved tumultuous as Russian President Vladimir Putin staved off rebellion from his most trusted ally, and Moscow had to offer incredible incentives to convince Russians to enlist and replenish their diminishing forces. 

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Zelenskyy refused to consider the lack of Russian progress any indication of a “new page” in the war: Baier reported that Ukraine has “likely” lost around 100,000 troops during the two years and described the Ukrainian forces as “war-weary but still determined.” 

“It’s important to understand what is with the people because people on the front line, you see the spirit,” Zelenskyy said.  

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The interview captures some of the Ukrainian leader’s most vulnerable moments since the war began – a break from the usual gruff and impassioned persona he has conveyed over the past two years. Zelenskyy visited a hospital where he met with men who had lost limbs in the fighting, calling his troops “heroic.”

Zelenskyy expressed his frustration at “bureaucracy” as a roadblock to obtaining necessary support, as well as a lack of technology and weapons. At one point, he stressed that “time is money.” 

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Zelenskyy continued to press the need for supplies from allies such as the U.S., understanding that support for Ukraine’s fight has waned in the U.S. Congress as some worry about the sense of continuing to support a war that lacks a clear endgame or exit. With that support, he believes he could end up pushing Putin’s forces back and arrive at the negotiating table with a “strong hand to play,” according to Baier. 

“We have to survive,” Zelenskyy said. “We have to find some parallel steps or rules, but … you understand that this help is crucial: Without it … we will have more and more such heroic guys who will be in the hospitals, because if you don’t have real defending shield and some powerful artillery … of course, you will lose people.” 

Baier said that in part one of tomorrow’s exclusive interview, Zelenskyy covers more difficult topics, responding to criticism of his leadership, making an appeal to President Biden and Donald Trump and pushing back against Putin’s latest comments. 

Programming note: You can watch the first part of Bret Baier’s exclusive interview with President Zelenskyy on Special Report with Bret Baier on Thursday. 

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