Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy “didn’t want to hear it” when US intelligence gathered information Russia was preparing to invade, President Joe Biden has told donors at a Democratic fundraiser in Los Angeles.
The remarks came as Biden was talking about his work to rally and solidify support for Ukraine as the war continues into its fourth month.
“Nothing like this has happened since World War II,” Biden said.
“I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating. But I knew we had data to sustain (Russian President Vladimir Putin) was going to go in, off the border.
“There was no doubt. And Zelenskiy didn’t want to hear it.”
Although Ukraine’s president has inspired people with his leadership during the war, his preparation for the invasion – or lack thereof – has remained a controversial issue.
In the weeks before the war began on February 24, Zelenskiy publicly bristled as Biden administration officials repeatedly warned a Russian invasion was highly likely.
At the time, Ukraine’s leader was concerned the drumbeat of impending conflict was unsettling his country’s fragile economy.