Report: Call Between Biden And Zelensky ‘Did Not Go Well,’ But Ukrainian And American Officials Deny Anonymous ‘Leaking’
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 01: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) meets with U.S. President Joe Biden in the Oval Office at the White House on September 01, 2021 in Washington, DC. This was the two leaders' first face-to-face meeting and the first by a Ukrainian leader in more than four years.
(Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden chatted with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss the potential military conflict between Ukraine and Russia on Thursday, but according to a report citing anonymous sources, the call “did not go well.” CNN first reported the story on Thursday evening, causing both the White House and the Ukrainian government to respond and dismiss any anonymous leaking about the call as “completely false.”

The call reportedly lasted one hour and 20 minutes and was described as candid by the two leaders, but the two countries reportedly did not see eye to eye on how much a threat Russia truly posed.

On the call, which the Ukrainian official described as “long and frank,” Biden warned his Ukrainian counterpart that a Russian attack may be imminent, saying that an invasion was now virtually certain, once the ground had frozen later in February, according to the official.

Zelensky, however, said his position was that the threat from Russia remains “dangerous but ambiguous,” and it is not certain that an attack will take place, the official said. CNN’s Alexander Marquardt gave more insight, claiming that sources told CNN that Biden told Zelensky point-blank that Ukraine was about to be “sacked.”

“A Russian invasion is now virtually certain once the ground freezes, Biden said to Zelensky, a senior Ukrainian official told @mchancecnn . Kyiv could be “sacked,” Russian forces may attempt to occupy it, “prepare for impact”, Biden said, according to this official,” Marquardt tweeted.

That tweet prompted White House National Security Council spokesman Emily Horne to deny those words were ever said by Biden.

“This is not true,” Horne rebutted. “President Biden said that there is a distinct possibility that the Russians could invade Ukraine in February. He has previously said this publicly & we have been warning about this for months. Reports of anything more or different than that are completely false.”

“Anonymous sources are ‘leaking falsehoods,'” CNN reported that they were told by a White House spokesperson.

For their part, Ukraine officials also denied the report, claiming that CNN’s reports were “completely false.”

“President of #Ukraine’s spokesperson stated that some reports regarding today’s conversation of President Zelenskyy and President Biden are completely false. He also encouraged to carefully treat all information in this troubled time especially from the unconfirmed sources,” the Ukrainian Embassy tweeted.

In an attempt to set the record straight, the White House released the following readout of Zelensky and Biden’s phone call:

Formatting edited:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine. President Biden reaffirmed the readiness of the United States along with its allies and partners to respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine.

He also underscored the commitment of the United States to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. President Biden noted the United States has provided Ukraine with over half a billion dollars in development and humanitarian assistance in the last year and is exploring additional macroeconomic support to help Ukraine’s economy amidst pressure resulting from Russia’s military build-up.

President Biden made clear that despite the departure of American family members of embassy personnel, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, remains open and fully operational.

The leaders discussed coordinated diplomatic efforts on European security, underscoring the principle of “nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine.”

President Biden relayed the United States’ support for conflict resolution efforts in the Normandy Format, expressing his hope that the sides’ recommitment on January 26 to the terms of the July 2020 ceasefire will help decrease tensions and advance the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Report: Call Between Biden And Zelensky ‘Did Not Go Well,’ But Ukrainian And American Officials Deny Anonymous ‘Leaking’