‘More like Cain and Abel’ Zelensky responds to Putin’s essay on the ‘historical unity’ of Russians and Ukrainians
During a press conference on July 13, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commented on Vladimir Putin’s controversial essay “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians.” Poking fun at the fact that the Kremlin published the article in Ukrainian, Zelensky said he was surprised that the Russian president had time to write an in-depth historical article but not to meet with him. The Ukrainian president added that Kyiv may issue an official response to Putin’s piece. Here’s what Zelensky said, in a nutshell.
It’s nice that the man knows Ukrainian [Zelensky laughs]. I think that if the president of the Russian Federation has started writing in Ukrainian, it means that we’re doing everything right. I didn’t have time to read the whole article, but I saw in-depth work. Putin really spent a lot of time on it. One can only envy that the president of such a big country can afford to do this. For some reason, Putin doesn’t have enough time to meet with me. I didn’t know what he was spending his time on, but now I see the result. If we were to meet, we could discuss what he wrote about. Perhaps I could provide him with materials for a new article. We [Ukrainians] are forgotten when they talk about the victory over fascism, but in other instances they remember that we are brotherly people. It seems to me that it isn’t brotherly to do this, more like Cain and Abel. We will analyze this article. If it’s written in Ukrainian it means that we need to respond. We’ll think about it.
This is an approximate summary of Volodymyr Zelensky’s comment. Phrases written in the first person aren’t necessarily verbatim quotes. You can listen to his full response in Ukrainian here.
Cover photo: Sergey Supinsky / AFP / Scanpix / LETA