Zelenskyy tells David Muir: Putin should be prosecuted for war crimes

PHOTO: ABC News' David Muir speaks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
ABC News’ David Muir speaks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.ABC News

In an exclusive interview with ABC’s “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hinted of more counteroffensives as his country tries to turn the tide of war against Russia.

“It’s a very difficult war,” Zelenskyy told Muir from the presidential office in Kyiv. “We will regain our territory.”

You can watch more of David Muir’s full interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “World News Tonight.”

Last week, the Ukrainian military launched a long-awaited counteroffensive near the southern port city of Kherson, which Russian forces seized in early March. Kherson was the first major Ukrainian city to fall to the Russians amid the early days of the full-scale invasion, which began on Feb. 24. The counteroffensive there is one of the first for Ukrainian troops that have been largely on the defensive.

In his nightly video address on Sunday, the Ukrainian president said he had received “good reports” from his military commanders and head of intelligence. He thanks his troops for liberating a settlement in the eastern Donetsk region as well as two settlements in the south, and for advancing and regaining “certain heights” in an eastern area in the Lysychansk-Siversk direction.

Zelenskyy told Muir that Ukrainians “need to, step-by-step, de-occupy our territory.”

“This task is difficult and it doesn’t only depend on us, but I’m sure that is what will happen,” he added. “It’s only matter of time.”

When asked why the Ukrainian military decided to launch the counteroffensive in the Kherson region at this time, Zelenskyy told Muir: “I won’t say that it’s only counteroffensive in Kherson … There is a direction or directions — plural — and we have to move forward.”MORE: Russia-Ukraine live updates

Asked to clarify that the Kherson counteroffensive is not the only one underway in Ukraine, Zelenskyy said he “can’t discuss details of any military actions.”

“I want that the enemy gets some surprises from us,” he added.

Muir pressed: “So what you are telling me, more than six months into this war, is that you will cede no Ukrainian territory — that is not on the table?”

“No,” Zelenskyy responded. “We will not. No.”

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