• Many French Internet users claim that Volodymyr Zelensky would have called on NATO to use nuclear weapons preventively against Russia.

  • This rumor comes from the Russian authorities who rely on an interview granted by the Ukrainian president to an Australian Think Tank on Thursday.

  • In reality, Volodymyr Zelensky is asking for preventive sanctions similar to those applied before the invasion in Russia.

    He did not mention nuclear strikes.

The communication war continues between Ukraine and Russia.

Since the invasion of the central European country by troops from Moscow last February, the two heads of state, Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin, have been engaged in a fierce battle to win favor with the rest of the world.

This Friday, several French Internet users are protesting against the Ukrainian president who allegedly asked NATO for preventive nuclear strikes against Russia, in order to dissuade it from using nuclear weapons itself.

According to these same Twittos, Volodymyr Zelensky would thus be guilty of encouraging the escalation of the conflict, and for some, a genocide against the Russian people.

However, there is nothing.

20 Minutes

takes stock.


This rumor has been fed since Thursday by the Russian authorities and relayed by accounts supporting the cause of Moscow, including former senator Yves Pozzo di Borgo, which are based on a speech given this Thursday by the Ukrainian president in Australian think tank Australian Lowy Institute.

As he has become accustomed to since the start of the conflict, Volodymyr Zelensky calls for Australia's support in front of an audience of guests.

The head of state is questioned about Western military aid, the risks of escalation and blackmail with nuclear weapons by Vladimir Putin.

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"Eliminate the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons"

After several tens of minutes of discussion, the interviewer asks him what NATO's response should be to these threats to dissuade Russia from using nuclear weapons.

“What should NATO do?

Eliminate the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons.

But above all, I appeal once again to the international community, as before February 24: preventive strikes, so that they know what will happen to them if they use them.


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It was this response that was used by opponents of Zelensky to fuel the rumor mill.

However, the Ukrainian president does not speak of nuclear strikes.

And if we look at the context itself, he is not talking about military strikes in the proper sense since he is talking about the situation prior to the invasion by Russian troops of his country.

A time when there were no exchanges of fire or direct military confrontations between the two countries.

Sanctions rather than strikes

If the term Ukrainian does not have a strict translation in French, watching the video of the conference, we hear the interpreter, who translates the remarks into English, resume in his translation when he understands the context and replaces the term "preventive strikes" by "preventive actions" (at 25'30 of the video).

This version has also been confirmed by his press secretary, Sergii Nykyforov, who, in a Facebook post, calls for preventive measures before February 24.


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Birth in Prague of the European Political Community, “united” against Moscow

  • War in Ukraine

  • Russia

  • World

  • fake-off

  • Volodymyr Zelensky

  • Vladimir Poutine

  • Nuclear