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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy did not say this. During a February press conference, Zelenskyy predicted that if Ukraine loses the war, Russia will then invade a country that’s a North Atlantic Treaty Organization member, forcing the U.S. to defend its allies.
Ukraine borders four NATO member countries, but it is not part of the military alliance.
During her March 3 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., argued that the Republican party must protect America’s children from threats, both foreign and domestic.
Greene seemed to include Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy among those threats. She told the crowd that Zelenskyy said he wants America’s "sons and daughters to go die in Ukraine."
Later in the speech, Greene added, "I will look at a camera and directly tell Zelenskyy, ‘You better leave your hands off of our sons and daughters, because they’re not dying over there.’"
Social media users also made the same claim about Zelenskyy’s comments.
"Shocking video," read the text above Zelenskyy’s head in one video shared March 1 on Instagram. "He wants the sons and daughters of U.S. to die."
We reached out to Greene’s office for comment and did not hear back.
We found no evidence Zelensky said this. Greene’s claim and similar online claims distorted Zelenskyy’s remarks.
On Feb. 24, Zelenskyy held a press conference in Kyiv, recognizing the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
He was asked by a reporter what he would say to Americans who believe the U.S. is sending too much aid to Ukraine.
Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude; said that the U.S. could lose its world leadership position if it stopped supporting Ukraine; and cautioned that reduced support for Ukraine could raise the risk of global conflict, according to a translated broadcast of his comments.
Zelenskyy predicted that if Ukraine lost the war with Russia because of waning U.S. support, Russia would then invade a country that’s a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a military alliance created after World War II. Such an attack could require the U.S. to send troops in defense of an ally, because NATO members are part of a mutual defense treaty, meaning they will defend any member against an external attack.
Ukraine is not one of the 30 NATO member countries, which include the United States, Canada, Germany, France and the U.K.
Ukraine borders four NATO members: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. Ukraine has asked to become a NATO member but has not been admitted. Currently, Ukraine is a NATO partner, according to NATO’s website, which means Ukraine "cooperates closely" with NATO but is not covered by the security guarantee in the treaty.
"The U.S. is never going to give up on the NATO member states," Zelenskyy said. "If it happens so that Ukraine — due to various opinions, weakened and 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 … sons and daughters to war."
In that case, Americans "will have to fight because it’s NATO that we’re talking about," Zelenskyy said. "And they will be dying, god forbid, because it’s a horrible thing."
Greene claimed that Zelenskyy said he wants America’s "sons and daughters to go die in Ukraine."
Zelenskyy did not say that.
During a press conference, he predicted that if Ukraine loses the war, Russia will invade a NATO member country next. If that happens, Zelenskyy said, Americans would be required to "send their sons and daughters" to war because of NATO’s mutual defense treaty.
He did not mention U.S. troops going to Ukraine.
We rate this claim False.
The Guardian, ‘Victory inevitable’: Zelenskiy addresses defiant Ukraine on war’s first anniversary, Feb. 24, 2023
The Guardian on YouTube, Zelenskiy delivers statement on the one year anniversary of Russia's invasion – watch live, Feb. 24, 2023
North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Partners, accessed March 3, 2023
North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, accessed March 3, 2023
North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Partnerships: projecting stability through cooperation, accessed March 3, 2023
The Guardian, Ukraine applies for Nato membership after Russia annexes territory, Sept. 30, 2022
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