Zelensky Urges Biden to Give 'Useful' Message About Invasion of Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged U.S. President Joe Biden to send a "useful" message about the Russian invasion when Biden addresses the nation on Tuesday.

From his bunker in Kyiv, Zelensky gave an exclusive interview with CNN and Reuters in which he expressed his desire for Biden to make a statement on the situation during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. Biden and his administration are expected to support Ukraine without directly engaging in conflict with Russia, and what he says at the State of the Union will give more clarity on the official U.S. stance regarding the growing conflict.

Newsweek previously reported that Zelensky asked for western countries like the U.S. to take additional measures against Russia, such as imposing a no-fly zone over parts of the country. However, U.S. officials have been against measures like these, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki saying they would be "escalatory" and would "potentially put us in a place where we are in a military conflict with Russia," which Biden does not want.

In a Tuesday tweet, Zelensky said he and Biden had a conversation in which they discussed "anti-Russian sanctions and defense assistance."

"We must stop the aggressor as soon as possible," he wrote. "Thank you for your support!"

During his interview with CNN and Reuters, Zelensky advocated for the no-fly zone but also mentioned Biden had personally told him now was not the time to implement the measure.

"This is not about dragging NATO countries into war," Zelensky said. "The truth is everyone has long since been dragged into war and definitely not by Ukraine, but by Russia—a large-scale war is going on."

He also told reporters that Russia must stop bombing Ukrainian cities in order for ceasefire talks to begin in earnest.

"Just stop the bombing and then sit down at the negotiating table," he said.

In the interview, Zelensky also addressed the support he has been receiving from his country and the rest of the world, saying, "I'm not iconic. I think Ukraine is iconic."

"Ukraine is the heart of Europe, and now I think Europe sees Ukraine is something special for this world," he continued. "That's why [the] world can't lose this something special."

He added that if Russia were to win against Ukraine, Russia would not stop there, urging other European nations to acknowledge the security risks to their own countries.

"It is very important to know that if Ukraine falls, then all these [Russian] troops will be on the borders of your NATO member countries," he said. "And you will be facing the same question there."

Update 03/01/22 1:55 p.m. ET: This story was updated to add more information.

Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged U.S. President Joe Biden to give a "useful" message about the Russian invasion during the State of the Union address. Above, Zelensky attends a joint news conference with his counterparts from Lithuania and Poland following their talks in Kyiv on February 23. Photo by Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images