In the rare downtime he gets as a wartime leader, Zelenskiy, speaking to Reuters by video link on Wednesday, suggested man's best friend might fare better when it comes to getting along on the global stage.

"Sometimes I'm ... looking at all these wars or looking at all the crisis, Middle East crisis. It's not only Ukraine, everywhere in Africa and the Middle East.

"Sometimes I'm looking at this and think that the best way (is) if this planet will be the planet of dogs," he said at the Reuters NEXT conference in New York, responding to a question about what still makes him laugh.

The Kremlin's war in Ukraine, now in its 21st month, has upended Europe's security architecture and sent ripple effects through Africa and Asia, which have seen food shortages thanks to Russia's de facto blockade of the Black Sea.

Kyiv's Western partners have provided crucial financial and military support, but are now also dealing with the conflict in Gaza.

Along the front line, Ukrainian forces have been fighting for months to reclaim Russian-occupied territory in a counteroffensive but have made only incremental gains.

Zelenskiy, who is promoting a 10-point peace proposal, said his dogs provide much-needed relief when he spends time with his wife and children, and are "always funny".

"Sometimes I don't understand people, really," Zelenskiy added with a smile.

To view the live broadcast of the World Stage go to the Reuters NEXT news page:

(Reporting by Alessandra Galloni; Writing by Dan Peleschuk; Editing by Alison Williams)