Ukraine war: Kyiv officials dispute Joe Biden’s claim Zelensky ‘didn’t want to hear’ warnings that Putin would invade
- Ukrainian presidential spokesman Sergei Nikiforov said Biden’s comments were incorrect, and the phrase ‘did not want to hear’ probably needs ‘clarification’
- On Friday, Biden claimed before the invasion, the US presented Zelensky with intelligence Putin was planning to attack, and Zelensky ‘didn’t want to hear it’
“There was no doubt,” Biden said. “And Zelensky didn’t want to hear it.”
On Saturday, Ukrainian officials said Biden’s comments were incorrect.
“The phrase ‘did not want to hear’ probably needs clarification,” Ukrainian presidential spokesman Sergei Nikiforov told the Ukrainian news outlet LIGA.net.
Nikiforov said Zelensky requested preventive sanctions in anticipation of the invasion and hoped Ukraine’s allies would help encourage Russia to de-escalate and withdraw troops.
“Here we can already say that our partners ‘did not want to hear us,’” Nikiforov said.
Another Ukrainian official, Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to Zelensky, told LIGA.net that Biden’s words were “not quite true” and said Ukraine was preparing for a number of “aggressive” scenarios involving Russia.
“We understood perfectly well that Russia is developing different scenarios of expansion.”
Russia ultimately launched its invasion on February 24 and has recently been making progress towards capturing the Donbas and Luhansk regions. Ukraine, meanwhile, has retained control of its major cities, including Kyiv and Kharkiv.
Ukraine has pleaded with Western nations in recent days and weeks to provide more weapons to ensure the nation’s survival. Reports have indicated Ukraine is sustaining significant losses amid the fighting and that Russian forces are equipped with exponentially more weapons and artillery.