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Civil society in Ukraine prevents establishment of authoritarian regime – Zelensky

KYIV. Sept 3 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The strong and democratic civil society that exists in Ukraine makes it impossible to establish an authoritarian regime, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a conversation with professors and experts at Stanford University during a visit to the U.S.

According to the president’s press service, in response to a question whether he was afraid to become a "dragon" by killing a "dragon", Zelensky said that Ukrainian society would not allow the appearance of such a "dragon".

"As for ‘killing the dragon,’ I have been the President of Ukraine for two years. Your acquaintances [in Russia] have a more difficult situation, but this is your country’s internal choice. And Ukrainian civil society is so strong, free and democratic that … it is impossible for a ‘dragon’ to appear in Ukraine. The wings will be cut off," the president said.

He also said that Ukrainians and Russians have common periods of history and common victories, but Russia’s state policy is radically different from Ukraine’s policy and "is aimed at taking something, not giving."

"We read the signals of the Russian Federation – allegedly Ukraine does not want to end the war. It is strange. We did not start the war. We would be happy to end it. But we did not start it," the president said.