After meeting a delegation of various African countries, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has once again ruled out talks with Moscow ahead of the withdrawal of Russian troops. “To allow any negotiations with Russia when the aggressor is on our soil is to freeze war, pain and suffering,” Zelensky said at a news conference in Kiev on Friday. His country needs a real peace and at the same time “a real withdrawal of Russian troops from all our free lands”.
That evening, Zelenskiy released his daily video message and said he met with the military cabinet about the ongoing counteroffensive. He did not give details, but simply said: “Each of our soldiers, every step we take and every meter of liberated Ukrainian territory is the most important thing.”
Putin is irritated by reports of patriots, fighter jets and disarmament
Meanwhile, Kremlin leader Putin was repeatedly irritated during his hours-long appearance at the 26th International Economic Forum. For example, on nuclear arms control, he said: “We have more such weapons than NATO countries. They know that, and they keep pushing us to start talking about cuts.” He then added: “Leave it, you know what we say among the people.” Moments later, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had to explain Putin’s statements to the press — they To put it in perspective: “Russia is ready to negotiate,” he assured.
Putin also said about the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine: if the machines are stationed outside Ukraine, the Russian side will “see how and where we destroy these funds”. Here too, spokesman Peskov backtracked and said Russia would only attack the jets if they were delivered to Ukrainian territory.
Finally, critical Russian media drew attention to Putin’s claims that his military had destroyed five patriotic anti-aircraft systems in the Kiev region. Because: Ukraine has received two such systems from foreign partners.
Putin also insulted Ukrainian President Zelensky. “I have had many Jewish friends since childhood. They say: ‘Zelensky is not a Jew. It is a disgrace to the Jewish people,” he said. Moscow has repeatedly justified its war of aggression against its neighbour, campaigning to rid Ukraine of alleged “neo-Nazis”. Such statements caused great international consternation because Zelensky was of Jewish origin. Additionally, it has been proven that many thousands of victims of Russian attacks in Ukraine included Holocaust survivors.
Saturday is what matters
As part of their peace efforts, the African delegation, which includes heads of state and government from South Africa, Egypt, Senegal and Zambia, is traveling from Kiev to St. Petersburg. A meeting with Putin is also expected to take place there. (SDA)