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The Kremlin said Thursday it “expects” The Ukrainian leadership will bow to his territorial demands to end the brutal campaign he has waged for more than three months.
“Moscow expects Kiev to do this accept Moscow’s requests and become aware of the de facto situation – the real situation that exists, “said Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a Pravda translation.
Asked in a Russian media interview whether the requests extended to “territorial concessions”, Peskov responded by saying, “These are not territorial concessions.”
“Kiev needs to recognize the de facto situation and simply evaluate it soberly,” he added.
Russian Major General Rustam Minnekaev first announced last month that the Kremlin will seek “full control” over the eastern Donbas region and all southern port regions after Moscow failed to take Kiev during the first month of the its invasion.
But Ukrainian officials have warned they believe Russian forces will return in an effort to take the capital if they can gain control in other parts of the country.
Peskov’s comments come after weeks of stalled negotiations and suggestions from some Western officials that Kiev should give up some of its territorial integrity.
Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger suggested that Ukraine should give up Crimea as it has been occupied by Russian forces since 2014.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has unequivocally rejected these appeals and promised to keep fighting despite what should be an increasingly brutal campaign.
“Remember how it all started on February 24, when many around the world didn’t even believe that Ukraine would be able to withstand a full-scale war? Many of them just didn’t want to take Ukraine into account,” he said in a speech late Wednesday.
In a ferocious address, Zelenskyy condemned Kissinger’s comments and suggested he hadn’t learned from the mistakes he made before World War II.
“It appears that Mr. Kissinger’s calendar is not 2022, but 1938, and he thought he was speaking to an audience not in Davos, but in Munich at the time,” he said.
Zelenkyy’s reply was made in reference to the 1938 Munich Agreement signed by Great Britain, France, Italy and Germany, which gave Nazi leader Adolf Hitler land in then Czechoslovakia in a failed attempt to persuade him to give up his aggression. in Europe.
“Those who advise Ukraine to give something to Russia – great geopoliticians – are always reluctant to see ordinary people. Ordinary Ukrainians,” he continued. “Millions of those who actually live in the territory propose to trade with the illusion of peace. You always have to see the people.
“Remember that values aren’t just a word,” Zelenskyy said.