FOX News correspondent Benjamin Hall recently sat down with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for a wide-ranging interview during his first visit to Ukraine since he was nearly killed while covering the war in March 2022.
The two discussed whether Ukraine’s war against Russia has reached a stalemate and the Israel-Hamas war, now in its seventh week, has overshadowed Ukraine’s efforts.
Zelenskyy acknowledged that the Israel-Hamas conflict is a challenge for the world, but warned that ignoring Russia comes at the West’s own peril.
“We gave a lot of messages to Iran not to give [Russia] drones, not to give them licenses for production and for building the new factory of production of drones,” Zelenskyy said.
Per the Pentagon, Russia has relied on Iranian-supplied unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in Ukraine throughout the war to compensate for its diminishing stockpiles.
Zelenskyy argued that Ukraine is at “the center of global risks” and that Russia will continue to be emboldened by its actions without significant pushback from the global community.
Ukraine’s setbacks come ahead of the U.S. presidential elections, which will have profound implications for continued support of the war effort.
Former President Donald Trump, the lead Republican candidate in the 2024 race, has said he could get a peace deal “very quickly” – prompting Zelenskyy to invite him to Ukraine.
“I invite President Trump. If he can come here, I will need … 24 minutes to explain to President Trump that he can’t manage this war,” Zelenskyy told NBC’s “Meet the Press” earlier this month. “He can’t bring peace because of Putin.”
Continued support of Ukraine’s war effort ultimately hinges on an aid package passed by Congress. President Biden has called on Congress to support a $106 billion supplemental spending bill to allocate an estimated $61.4 billion for Ukraine, $14.4 billion for Israel, $13.6 billion for protection along the U.S.-Mexico border and about $10 billion for humanitarian aid.
“I hope that Congress will help us, and I hope that the help of the United States will be around the Ukrainian people,” Zelenskyy told Hall. “And I hope the United States will be with us against Russian terrorism.”
Speaking to a growing number of Americans who believe the funds would be better spent on Americans, Zelenskyy noted that much of the money goes back into the U.S. through production and jobs.
“When you produce for Ukraine and with Ukraine, you produce it also with Americans. So, the big parts will be production in your states,” he said.
Zelenskyy played down reports of a stalemate between Ukraine and Russia, pointing to incremental progress in the Black Sea.
“Each day I think that we [have] had success,” Zelenskyy said. “In Crimea, we had success in the Black Sea. We really destroyed … part of the Russian fleet … They don’t have such total influence on the Black Sea region.”
Zelenskyy paid his condolences to Oleksandra “Sasha” Kushinova, a Fox News consultant who was killed alongside Pierre Zakzewski and while in the field with Hall in Ukraine last year.
“I wanted to say my condolences to all the parents [and] relatives of those very brave guys, men and women who lost their lives because they really wanted to help Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said. “We will never we’ll never forget that.”