Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday that he can only talk with Vladimir Putin once the Russian President returns to the “real world.”
“Once the President is prepared to leave his bubble of this alternative reality into the real world and talk to us, understand that a lot of people are being killed, including civilians, perhaps then, will he understand that we should start talking and should put the end to this war that he launched, his country is waging against us,” Zelensky said via videoconference at a breakfast event moderated by Fareed Zakaria in Davos.
This is not the first time world leaders have accused Putin of being out of touch with reality when it comes to his motives for the war in Ukraine.
Putin said the Kremlin’s invasion began to protect Russian speakers from genocide at the hands of “neo-Nazis,” despite the lack of any concrete evidence. While Ukraine does have a far-right battalion playing a role in the resistance, Putin has exploited the fighting forces’ neo-Nazi ties as a pretext for the war. Shortly after the invasion began, he referred to the country’s leaders in Kyiv as a “gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis,” despite the fact that Zelensky is Jewish.
US intelligence assessed in March that Putin’s advisers were not properly informing him about the status of the war, including Russia’s early failures on the battlefield.
Speaking to Zakaria on Wednesday, Zelensky said he could only talk with Putin directly, “with no intermediaries, no brokers.”
The Ukrainian President also said Russia should withdraw its troops and equipment as the first step in negotiations between the two countries and that Ukraine will fight until “it regains all its territory back.”
The event was hosted by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, a Ukrainian charity founded in 2006, and the investment advisory group EastOne.
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