Ukraine says Russia has not burned all its bridges with Ukraine, while detailing demands for a peace deal

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a joint press conference with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in kyiv, capital of Ukraine, on April 28, 2022.

  • Zelenskyy said on Friday that Russia still had a chance to make peace with Ukraine.
  • Sporadic peace talks throughout the 10-week war have produced little progress.
  • Ukraine’s president said Russian forces would have to withdraw for him to agree to a peace deal.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shed some light on what a potential peace deal with Russia might look like, adding that Russia has not yet burned all its diplomatic bridges.

Zelenskyy said Russian forces would have to withdraw to where they were before Russia launched its invasion for him to agree to a peace deal, the Ukrainian president said during a conversation with British think tank Chatham House on Friday.

But for that to happen, Zelenskyy said, diplomats would have to agree to end the violence.

“Although [Russia] destroyed all our bridges, not all bridges have been destroyed yet, figuratively speaking,” Zelenskyy said.

The Ukrainian president added that he does not care what happens to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he has accused of war crimes, and that Russia’s leader means nothing to him in the context of what victory looks like.

Victory, Zelenskyy said, is about the territory and the people of Ukraine. He said that he wants to rebuild the economy to pre-war levels, join the European Union and bring back displaced citizens.

Zelenskyy added that he wants the West to be aware of the devastation in Ukraine and the widespread impact of the conflict.

“They should feel our pain, that will unite them, and they will never be affected by any Russian propaganda and will help us at all times,” Zelenskyy said.

Russia’s invasion began more than two months ago, but its forces have been plagued by logistical blunders and stalled by fierce Ukrainian resistance. Sporadic peace talks between the two sides have produced little progress in ending the brutal conflict.

The humanitarian evacuations from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol bombed this week, where a small group of Ukrainian resistance fighters and civilians have been sheltering for weeks, marked a rare occasion in which Russia appears to have cooperated with international efforts to save lives. of the civilians.

Meanwhile, the costly war has killed tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians, turning Ukraine’s cities into rubble as Russian forces fire on residential areas.

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