Donald Trump refused to say whether he wants Ukraine to win its war during a town hall session on CNN.
"I don't think in terms of winning and losing," the former, and wannabe future, president said when asked who he wanted to come out on top in the conflict.
Mr Trump also declined to say whether or not he believes Vladimir Putin is a war criminal, as the International Criminal Court has alleged.
"That's something to be discussed at a later date," Mr Trump said, arguing that branding the Russian leader a war criminal would complicate efforts to reach a deal ending the violence.
The billionaire was widely criticised during his time in office for accepting Mr Putin's insistence that Russia had not interfered in the 2016 election to help him, even though US intelligence agencies concluded Kremlin-backed agents had done so.