In an exclusive interview for Eurovision News in Kyiv, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, says any potential compromises to be agreed by Ukraine, including on NATO membership, would need to be put to the people in a referendum. He added Ukraine will not submit to ultimatums from Russia, that all Ukrainians would have to be destroyed for that to be possible.
The face-to-face interview was conducted as a collaboration of European Broadcasting Union members. It was facilitated on location by Eurovision News Events and the Ukrainian public broadcaster, UA:PBC.
President Zelenskyy was interviewed by Angelina Kariakina, Head of News at UA:PBC; Michal Kubal, Chief International Correspondent at Czech Television; and Agnès Vahramian Jeru, International Correspondent at France Télévisions.
The interview will be made available to all Eurovision News Exchange Members and sub-licensees in more than 56 countries, for news output as well as a complete programme for broadcast and online platforms.
“When you talk about certain changes and they can be historic, we are not going anywhere. We will come to the referendum. Our people will have to say and give an answer to certain formats of compromises which you mentioned before. What will those be? It will be defined by our conversation and understanding between Ukraine and Russia.”
“We see it in the occupied cities, in Melitopol, in Berdyansk, when they enter people will give them away. They raise the flag and people take it off. They killed a man, yet people hid and came at night and removed the flag. Well, what do you want – to destroy everyone. That is why I said we execute an ultimatum only when we will not exist.”
Liz Corbin, EBU Deputy Director Media and Head of News, said, “The strength of unity between public service broadcasters was crucial to securing this opportunity. Conducting an hour-long interview with a war-time leader requires unprecedented collaboration between the journalists on the ground and the dozens of newsrooms they are serving. I would like to thank our colleagues at UA:PBC for their invaluable assistance, and France Télévisions and Czech Television for helping make this a truly international interview.”
Since the invasion began on 24 February, the number of Eurovision News Exchange stories being broadcast is up 134% on the same period last year, and views of related content on social media has run into billions.
Eurovision News teams are on the ground in Kyiv and Lviv providing logistical services to our Members and other broadcasters as well as providing live and recorded content in multiple languages to be shared across different channels.