A 19-second video clip of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy talking about U.S. involvement with the ongoing war with Russia has racked up millions of views on social media.
The video clip shows Zelenskyy sitting behind a microphone speaking in Ukrainian with an English voiceover translation. In the video clip, Zelenskyy talks about the U.S. sending “sons and daughters” to war.
The video has been shared on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Truth Social by people such as media personality Stew Peters. It was also shared by Townhall, a conservative news website. Some posts imply Zelenskyy said the U.S. is going to send American soldiers into the Ukraine war.
One tweet with more than three million views says: “Ukraine needs fresh young Americans to help fight on the ground war.”
Did Ukraine’s president say the U.S. will send ‘sons and daughters’ to fight in the Ukraine war?
No, Zelenskyy wasn’t talking about the Ukraine war when he said the U.S. would send “sons and daughters.” Zelenskyy was talking about what would happen if Ukraine lost the war, and Russia then invaded a NATO member country.
WHAT WE FOUND
On Feb. 24, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a press conference on the first anniversary of the war with Russia.
The full conference, which was over two hours long, was posted to The Telegraph’s YouTube channel. The Telegraph is a British news outlet and their watermark can be seen on their YouTube video and in the upper right hand corner of the viral video clip.
One hour and 37 minutes into the conference, Zelenskyy is asked about continued U.S. involvement in the war between Ukraine and Russia.
VERIFY transcribed that question and answer from the press conference. The portion of the response used in the viral clip is in bold:
ABC News Journalist: Mr. President, opinion polls in the United States are suggesting a growing number of Americans believe that America is giving too much support to Ukraine. What would your message be on the anniversary to those Americans?
Zelenskyy (translated with English voiceover): I would like to thank the American people. I would like to thank all of the American people that are supporting Ukraine – the Congress, the president, the TV channels, the journalists, and everyone that has been supporting us.
And that percentage of the Americans, as you’ve mentioned, is increasing. I can tell them only one thing. If they do not change their opinion, if they do not understand us, if they do not support Ukraine, they will lose NATO. They will lose the clout of the United States. They will lose the leadership position that they are enjoying in the world, that they are enjoying for a very fair reason. And they will lose the support of the country with [a] 40 million population, with millions of children. Are American children any different than ours? Don’t Americans enjoy the same things as we do? I don’t think we’re that different.
I’m actually very happy that we have bipartisan support, but we keep hearing those messages from time to time and they’re dangerous. There are political leaders that are elected by people, and if this issue is raised, those political leaders need to be responsible and cautious because people are looking at them.
Who wants a third world war? Would anyone be willing to accept that risk? The U.S. is never going to give up on the NATO member states. If it happens so that Ukraine, due to various opinions and weakening or 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 our 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. I wish peace and Ukrainian support to the United States.
Zelenskyy wasn’t saying the U.S. would be sending Americans to fight in Ukraine. He was predicting what would happen if Ukraine lost the war, and then Russia invaded a NATO member country.
NATO is an alliance of 30 North American and European countries that was created in 1949 after World War II. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which is NATO’s founding document, says if any NATO country is attacked, that attack “shall be considered an attack against them all.”
That means if Russia should advance into the Baltic states, like Zelenskyy mentioned, the U.S. would have to respond to aid its fellow NATO member if the member group invokes Article 5.
On Feb. 22, President Joe Biden met with nine NATO allies. They discussed the continued support for Ukraine and Biden reiterated the United States’ commitment to NATO’s Article 5.
Although the U.S. has provided financial and military equipment as aid to Ukraine, Biden has also never said the U.S. would be sending troops.
VERIFY also recently fact-checked false claims Biden would be reinstating the draft in order to help the right against Russia. Those claims are false.