COURTESY OF NETFLIX
- David Letterman asked Ukraine’s president if Russia’s war would continue if Vladimir Putin died.
- Volodymyr Zelenskyy said it would not: “There would be no war.”
- He said Russia’s political system, which makes Putin much more powerful than others, is the reason.
Ukraine’s president said he believes Russia’s invasion of his country would stop if Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, were to die suddenly.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy was being interviewed by David Letterman on a subway platform in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv for Letterman’s show “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” which airs on Netflix.
Letterman asked Zelenskyy: “Let’s just say that Putin got a really bad cold and died. Or accidentally fell out of a window and died. Would this continue?”
Zelenskyy responded: “No. There would be no war. There wouldn’t be.”
He said Russia’s political system, which gives Putin so much power, is the main reason.
“The authoritarian regime is dangerous as it poses great risks. Because you can’t allow just one person to have total control over everything. That’s why when such a person is gone, institutions come to a halt.”
He added: “That’s what happened back in the Soviet Union. Everything collapsed. And that’s why I think if he’s gone, it will be hard for them. They will have to deal with their internal policy, rather than foreign issues.”
In the interview, which was conducted in October, Zelenskyy said that “quite a large percentage” of Russians believe Putin when it comes to the war, and are not living in reality.
He said that other Russians are “aware of the reality,” but are afraid to do anything about it.
Zelenskyy also told Letterman that his nine-year-old son knows the names of all of the weapons being used in the war.
He said Ukraine’s children are “deeply immersed in the war.”
“Putin stole childhood from our children,” he added.
Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.