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President Zelensky Asserts No Forgiveness for Those Who Betrayed Ukraine

By Jake Beardslee · July 6, 2023

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky  President Of Ukraine from Україна, PDM-owner, via Wikimedia Commons

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine discussed the sensitive topic of forgiveness for Ukrainians who collaborated with the Russian occupying forces in a recent interview with Erin Burnett on CNN. The president acknowledged the complexity of the issue and highlighted the significance of justice and time in healing society. However, he emphasized that those who committed crimes against Ukraine would face consequences, irrespective of the circumstances.

When asked about forgiveness for Ukrainians who collaborated with the Russians, President Zelensky acknowledged the complexity of the situation. He stressed the role of time and justice in healing society, stating, “Sometimes time heals. And as I’ve mentioned, justice heals too, I’m convinced.” However, he made it clear that those who committed crimes against Ukraine, even under duress, would face consequences, saying, “Even if you were made by force to kill Ukrainians, you will be answering for your deeds. Nobody will forgive you and you won’t be able to explain all of this.”

President Zelensky also addressed the personal risks he faces as a top target. Despite multiple assassination attempts, he underscored the importance of remaining connected to the people and understanding the realities on the ground. He stated, “If I isolate myself, I won’t understand what’s going on around me in the country. I would lose the connection with society.”

International support was another crucial topic discussed. President Zelensky stressed the significance of financial and energy assistance, as well as sanctions, but noted that it ultimately depends on the moral obligations and political decisions of their partners. He stated, “But any kind of support with energy supplies, sanctions. Yet it all depends on the moral obligations and political decisions and political will of our partners.”

When discussing the potential consequences of Russian aggression, President Zelensky highlighted the need to prevent further encroachments. Regarding Putin, he warned, “Give him an opportunity to grow his force, lose Ukraine, and he will go further, and NATO will decide then what to do.”

Light Wave commentary

President Zelensky’s interview sheds light on the complex issues Ukraine confronts in its path towards recovery and stability. The question of forgiveness for Ukrainians involved in occupied territories raises important moral and legal dilemmas. President Zelensky’s emphasis on justice and the passage of time as catalysts for healing underscores the arduous process of reconciling a nation torn by conflict.