FACT CHECK: Did Volodymyr Zelenskyy Say That American “Sons And Daughters” Will Die In Ukraine?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said American “sons and daughters” will die in Ukraine.

Verdict: Misleading

Zelenskyy’s comments were about a hypothetical where Ukraine loses, and if Russia invades the Baltic states. He did not say that American troops will die in Ukraine.

Fact Check:

Zelenskyy recently called for U.S. and European law chiefs to try Russia in international court for allegedly war crimes during their invasion of Ukraine, according to The Associated Press. The Ukrainian president also described battles in the disputed territory of Donbas as “painful and difficult,” Euronews reported.

The Facebook post claims that Zelenskyy said American troops would fight and die in Ukraine. The Facebook post reads, “Zelensky now directly threatening us and claiming American sons and daughters will have to fight and die for Ukraine. HELL NO.” (FACT CHECK: Did The UK Ministry Of Defense Send This Letter About Ukrainian Trainees?)

The remarks, however, are taken out of context. Zelenskyy held a news conference on Feb. 24, the one-year anniversary marking Russia’s invasion, according to CNN. His full news conference was streamed online, including on YouTube. In response to a question about what message he would send to Americans who believe Ukraine is being given too much support, Zelenskyy thanked Americans for supporting Ukraine.

“If it happens so that Ukraine, due to various opinions and weakening, depleting of assistance, loses, Russia is going to enter Baltic states, NATO member states, and then the U.S. will have to send their sons and daughters exactly the same way as we are sending their sons and daughters to war. And they will have to fight. Because it’s NATO that we’re talking about, and they will be dying, god forbid, because it’s a horrible thing,” Zelenskyy said further.

Zelenskyy appears to be providing a hypothetical where Ukraine loses due to a slowdown in aid and Russia invades the Baltic states, forcing the U.S. to send troops to combat such an invasion. The U.S. is obligated to defend NATO states if Article 5 is invoked, according to NATO’s website.

The claim was spread on Twitter and by politicians like Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee, according to CNN. Lee later deleted the tweet making the claim, the outlet reported.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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