Read a Transcript of Volodymyr Zelensky’s Interview With The Times

I’ll tell you honestly, if there’s an opportunity to just talk, even to ask what’s going on in school, for example, I ask my son what’s happening. He says they’re starting to learn Spanish. I’m interested in that. I don’t know Spanish, but honestly, I’m only interested in the time I can spend with him, no matter what he’s doing. My son is young. And my daughter, she’s already grown up. These are the moments that recharge you, give you energy. These are the happiest moments. That’s when I can relax.

I also enjoy reading books. I’ll be honest, any kind of fiction, I read at night, two, three, four, 10 pages max, and then I fall asleep. It’s the same when I try to watch a video or a movie at night — I just don’t have the energy. I’ll tell you, once I’m in bed, whatever I try to read or watch, I fall asleep. I wake very early.

And, probably, the second thing that recharges me, besides family, is a bit of exercise. In the morning, it also gives me energy.

And probably understanding what we are doing, what we can do, and believing in Ukraine’s victory. I believe very much in people, especially when people know and say, “We know how hard it is for everyone, but you, Mr. President, you are holding on, and we are with you.” I am always with the people. I think we recharge each other. So you see, again, it’s just emotions, some positivity, and that’s probably enough.

Q: It’s now been five years since you’ve been president, and it’s a very uncertain time for Ukraine. Could you assess the health of Ukrainian democracy during the war, and how would you like to see Ukrainian democracy develop after the war?

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