The BBC News presenter conducted a lengthy interview with the Ukrainian leader in which Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia’s chances of agreeing to a peace deal are dwindling. Mr Myrie was asked about his impression of Mr Zelensky, saying that while he showed his “affable” side, he also offered insight into the toll the conflict had taken on him. Speaking from Kyiv, the BBC broadcaster said: “He’s very affable, very charming.
“Remember he was a comedian and actor, he knows how to operate a camera so to speak.
“But he looked hungry, frankly, when I first greeted him – he came down the stairs, and I shook his hand, and he looked tired.
“He looked emotionally drained and that comes through in the interview.
“He tried to give the impression, and certainly that the interaction on Emmanuel Macron’s text, suggested the lighter, more dominant side of his nature.
“But as the interview went on, and we talked about these areas in the northwest, Bucha, Borodyanka, Irpin, these areas that he visited, he saw body bags in the streets, he saw the devastation that the Russian bombardments brought to these areas, it collapsed in front of me.”
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Mr Myrie continued: “You could see the physical and emotional toll that dealing with everything that had taken on him.
“I think there were a lot of people in this country who doubted he was up to the task.
“He’s a comedian and an actor, that’s what he was in another life.
“Was he going to be able to handle the toughest crisis in this country’s history since World War II and also shoulder the burden of potentially maintaining liberal democracy in Eastern Europe.
“And I think the general consensus is that he rose to that challenge.”
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The Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday it had hit a military target outside Kyiv with cruise missiles overnight and promised further strikes against the Ukrainian capital.
The ministry said its forces had also completely taken control of the Ilyich steelworks in the beleaguered port city of Mariupol.
Russia said on Wednesday that 1,026 troops from Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade, including 162 officers, surrendered near the steel plant.
Mariupol, surrounded by Russian troops for weeks, has seen the fiercest fighting and most complete destruction since Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24.