Zelenskyy rules out ​​ceding territories to Russia for peace

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Ukraine’s president has rejected a proposal by some Western politicians, including former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, to cede territories to Russia in order to achieve peace.

“No matter what the Russian state does, there is always someone who says: ‘let’s take its interests into account,’” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address Wednesday.

“This year in Davos it was heard again. Despite thousands of Russian missiles hitting Ukraine. Despite tens of thousands of Ukrainians killed. Despite Bucha and Mariupol, etc. Despite the destroyed cities. And despite the ‘filtration camps’ built by the Russian state, in which they kill, torture, rape and humiliate like on a conveyor belt,” he added.

On Tuesday, Kissinger suggested at the World Economic Forum in Davos that Ukraine should give up territory to Russia to end the invasion.

“In my view, movement towards negotiations and negotiations on peace need to begin in the next two months so that the outcome of the war should be outlined…Ideally, the dividing line should return the status quo ante,” he said, seeming to suggest that Ukraine should agree to cede much of Donbas and the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014.

“Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself,” Kissinger said.

In his speech late Wednesday, Zelensky compared Kissinger’s views to failed attempts in 1938 to appease Nazi Germany by giving up territory.

“And behind all these geopolitical speculations of those who advise Ukraine to give away something to Russia, ‘great geopoliticians’ are always unwilling to see ordinary people. Ordinary Ukrainians. Millions of those who actually live in the territory they propose to exchange for the illusion of peace,” the Ukrainian president said.

Zelenskyy pointed out that “the world turned out not to be ready for Ukrainian bravery. For the bravery of all our people who are not inferior to Russia and continue to defend our state.”

“We must do everything possible for the world to get a permanent habit of taking Ukraine into account. So that the interests of Ukrainians are not overlapped by the interests of those who are in a hurry for another meeting with the dictator (Vladimir Putin),” he added.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 began in 2014, when Russian troops invaded and annexed the Crimean peninsula.

At that time, pro-Russian guerrillas in Ukraine’s Donbas region, which includes Luhansk and Donetsk, began to fight against the Kyiv government, assisted by forces sent by Moscow, in a conflict that has continued ever since.

Shortly before the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24, both regions declared themselves independent republics and were immediately recognized by the Putin government.

After failing to wrest control of the west and capital city of Ukraine, Kyiv, the Russians have, in recent weeks, focused their efforts on occupying Donbas, after seizing the southern city of Mariupol, in order to make a corridor that would allow it to link all of eastern and southern Ukraine.

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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