The New York Times: Russia-Ukraine War Briefing

How Zelensky thinks the war in Ukraine will end.

Views expressed in this geopolitical news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.  Accessed on 30 November 2022, 2145 UTC.  Content provided by email subscription to "The New York Times:  Russia-Ukraine War Briefing."


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Russ Roberts (

Ukraine-Russia News

November 30, 2022

Author Headshot

By Carole Landry

Editor/Writer, Briefings Team

Welcome to the Russia-Ukraine War Briefing, your guide to the latest news and analysis about the conflict.

President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared via video link at The New York Times’s DealBook Summit.Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

How Zelensky thinks the war will end

President Volodymyr Zelensky took a swipe at Elon Musk for making peace proposals that would have Ukraine cede territory to Russia during an interview at The New York Times’s DealBook Summit today. He also spelled out what he thought was needed to end the war.

In a live conversation over video link with Andrew Ross Sorkin of The Times, conducted via an interpreter, Zelensky also spoke about Russia’s threats to use a nuclear weapon and addressed calls in the U.S. for stricter oversight of financial aid and weapons sent to Ukraine.

Zelensky’s remarks came amid much discussion in Western capitals about whether Ukraine should begin to explore a diplomatic settlement to the war, now in its 10th month, instead of pressing on with a military solution that could allow the conflict to worsen or drag on.

“This will end when we achieve a victory or when the Russian Federation decides they want it” to end, Zelensky said. “It may happen that they will only decide to end the war if they feel they are weak, they are isolated and they don’t have any partners on that. Let us have faith that this will end in the next few months.”

After Musk tweeted his peace proposals last month, including one that called for Crimea to be formally part of Russia, Ukrainian officials reacted with anger. Zelensky suggested that a visit to Ukraine could help Musk gain a better understanding of the situation.

A cemetery in the Kyiv suburb of Irpin today.David Guttenfelder for The New York Times

I don’t know if somebody’s making influence on him or he is making those choices himself,” Zelensky said. “I always say very openly, if you want to understand what Russia has done here, come to Ukraine and you will see this with your own eyes, without any extra words, and after that, you will tell us how to end this war, who started it and when we can end it.”

Here’s what else Zelensky said.

On isolating Russia: “The biggest impact on the Russian President Putin is from the people of Russia. If the connections with other countries continue, if business relations continue, then the people of Russia will feel no discomfort. And, for them, all these stories about what is happening on the territory of Ukraine will remain some kind of what they call ‘special operation,’ but not a war which takes away human lives.”

On Putin’s nuclear threat: “Again, he is very dependent on the people of Russia, and he wants to remain alive, so I don’t think he will use nuclear weapons.”

On monitoring aid and weapons: “We are very open. Please check and please inspect, but as you do this, let’s not slow down any procedures. I think if we are partners, we are partners.”

On Israel: “Of course we are waiting for support from Israel for our country. We don’t want them to continue balancing between Ukraine and Russia in this war.” Zelensky said he had spoken to Benjamin Netanyahu, who is set to become prime minister again. “He certainly can help us with air defenses.”

On what’s at stake: “Our people are fighting for our shared values, for freedom and democracy, not just in Ukraine but in the whole world. Because if Ukraine does not stand through this war, the war will spread to other territories and maybe even to other continents.”


Follow our coverage of the war on the @nytimes channel.

What else we’re following

To provide comprehensive coverage of the war, we often link to outside sources. Some of these require a subscription.

In Ukraine

In Europe

In the U.S.

  • The Biden administration is weighing whether to label Russia’s Wagner Group a foreign terrorist organization, Bloomberg reports.
  • House Republicans warned the Biden administration to expect far tougher oversight of the military assistance it has provided Ukraine, The Washington Post reports.

We also recommend

  • Russia’s war has become the greatest economic challenge of President Biden’s time in office, Jim Tankersley, a White House correspondent, writes.
  • In Kyiv, a cafe has created two menus: One featuring heated food like pasta for when it has power, a second offering cold dishes. It’s part of life without power in the capital.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back Friday. — Carole

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