Zelensky visits Kherson and condemns Russia for at least 400 war crimes

While calls from the West and the United Nations to resolve the current conflict in Ukraine are becoming more visible, according to the Russian press, talks are already underway in Turkey between Russia and the United States to finalize a peace plan. Kyiv continues to receive the support of the United States, the European Union and NATO in their battle to restore the regions of the country occupied by Russian forces. In this regard, the head of European diplomacy said, Josep Borrell and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

ukrainian president, Volodymyr ZelenskyHe was visiting the city of Kherson by surprise, and his army liberated it on Friday, and they confirmed that they would continue the counterattack until they regained the rest of the areas occupied by the Russian forces. But he pointed to peace as the main goal to be achieved. “We are moving forward. We are ready for peace and peace throughout the country,” Zelensky said. He also emphasized that there is no intention to advance into Russian territory. We will not go to Moscow, we are not interested in the lands of another country.noted the Ukrainian president.

The recommendation to show more inclination to negotiations with Moscow in favor of ending the war was given in Kyiv to Zelensky directly by the National Security Adviser of the United States, Jake Sullivan, on November 4. Then the Ukrainian president received a formula for a negotiating course with the Kremlin. According to CNN, Washington has been trying for weeks to persuade Kyiv to show its willingness to resume talks with Moscow. The American side justified such a demand by the fact that the popular support for Ukraine and its armed resistance to aggression could weaken in the United States if the end of the conflict was not in sight.

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However, the United States, through its President, joe biden, his foreign minister, Anthony BlinkenAnd other senior officials continue to promise to support Kyiv with arms and financial support, as do NATO and a large part of the European Union. They also believe that there can be no real peace agreement without the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, and even the Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

According to the Telegram channel General SVR, which claims to have reliable sources in the Kremlin environment, on the office table of President Vladimir Putin there is already a Western peace plan that he will leave in the hands of Russia for seven years Crimea, but will have to return the other four annexed territories to Ukraine on September 30. At most, it would be acceptable to hold referendums again in Donetsk and Luhansk under international supervision for possible autonomy, but never within Russia.

In this context, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that Russian and American representatives are meeting in Ankara in the first attempt since January to reach an agreement to defuse the Ukrainian conflict. The Russian newspaper confirms that among those present on behalf of Moscow was the director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin. According to other sources, the director of the CIA, Bill Burns, was also to attend the meeting. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he could not “confirm or deny” the existence of such negotiations. Turkish authorities also declined to comment.

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But the Russian deputy foreign minister, Alexander Grushko, He warned that the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine is “unacceptable” for Moscow as a precondition for starting negotiations. Grushko stressed that “our president has repeatedly said that we are ready to negotiate, but these negotiations must take into account the situation on the ground,” referring to the fact that what is realistic is the recognition that what is already occupied by Russian forces will not be returned.

Without conditions

Soon, the spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Oleg Nikolenko, responded to Grushko’s words, stating that “Russia is not in a position to dictate its terms.” Nikolenko noted that “the Ukrainian peace formula has not changed: an immediate end to the war, the withdrawal of all Russian forces, the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, compensation for the damage caused to it, and effective guarantees of non-repetition of aggression.” She believes that “under other circumstances, a lasting peace would be impossible.”

Regarding the possible start of peace talks, Borrell insisted in Brussels that Ukraine would be “the one who decides what to do (…) Our duty is to support them.” Finnish Foreign Minister Becca Haavisto, For his part, he also believes that “the timing of the negotiations is a matter for Ukraine to decide.” In his opinion, before that, “final agreements between Ukraine and Russia can be reached when Russia withdraws from the territories it occupied.”

From the Netherlands, which he met with the foreign and defense ministers, Stoltenberg said that “it is up to Ukraine to decide. They are the ones who have to pay: they pay the highest price in terms of lives lost and damage done to the country. Therefore, it is up to Ukraine to decide what conditions to accept, We must support it and maximize the likelihood of an acceptable outcome.” According to his words, such decisions will not be made “neither in Brussels, nor in any NATO capital.” Most wars end at some point around the negotiating table. But what is happening at the table is primarily related to the situation on the battlefield, ”Stoltenburg emphasized, recognizing the need to continue to support Kyiv militarily.

Zelensky thanked the West for this military assistance as explosions were heard near Kherson. He said he decided to go to the newly liberated city “because we need the support of the people of Kherson so that they feel that we are not just talking or promising things, but we are really back in Kherson, we really have raised our flag here,” a ceremony held in front of the regional administration building with soldiers lining up while playing National anthem.

The Ukrainian head of state stated that Russia “has shown the world that it is capable of killing, but all of us, our Armed Forces, our National Guard and our intelligence services have shown that it is impossible to kill Ukraine.” Zelensky was greeted by the army and the people, shouting “Glory to Ukraine!” From Moscow, when asked about Zelensky’s visit, Peskov said “We won’t make any comments, you know very well that Kherson is a territory of the Russian Federation.”

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