Nov 30, 2022 - World

Why Zelensky thinks Putin won't use nukes on Ukraine

In this handout image issued by Ukrainian Presidency, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy meet in Ukraine's capital Kyiv on November 19, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Kyiv on Nov. 19. Photo: Ukrainian Presidency via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday that he does not think Russian President Vladimir Putin will use nuclear weapons.

Driving the news: "He is very dependent on the people of Russia and he wants to remain alive, so I don't think he's going to use nuclear weapons," Zelensky said during the New York Times DealBook Summit.

  • "Whether he's going to use nuclear weapons or not, it fully does not depend on what we discuss here."
  • "He may use nuclear weapons at other territories as well, we should not be afraid of this I think," Zelensky said speaking virtually at the summit.
  • "What we should be afraid of is if Putin takes complete advantage and we give him territory, he'll come into taste of that and he will realize that he goes unpunished."
  • "We need to put him back in his place," he said.

The big picture: Putin in October denied that he would conduct a nuclear strike in Ukraine, saying that "there is no point in that, neither political, nor military."

Of note: When asked to comment on companies like Roblox, whose platform remains accessible in Russia, Zelensky said that if connections to Russia continue, "the people of Russia will feel no discomfort." As a result, they'll fail to realize the reality of the war and continue to think it's a "special military operation."

  • "The biggest impact on the Russian president is the people of Russia," he said.

What to watch: When it comes to comparisons of the war in Ukraine to the conflict between China and Taiwan, Zelensky said the comparison "is not correct."

  • "Today, there is no full-scale war between China and Taiwan."

Go deeper... At least 15,000 missing due to Russian war on Ukraine, official says

Go deeper