Ukraine has said the government is prepared to discuss the adoption of a neutral status as part of a peace deal with Russia.
Speaking in an interview, Zelenskyy told the Russian independent journalists that Kyiv is prepared to meet Moscow on some of its demands on the condition that the changes were put to a referendum and third parties promised to protect Ukraine.
However, the negotiations between the two countries (Ukraine and Russia) will take place this week in Turkey.
“Security guarantees and neutrality, non-nuclear status of our state. We are ready to go for it. This is the most important point,” Mr. Zelensky said in a video call.
Neutrality means a country does not allign itself militarily with others. Mr. Zelenskyy said that any potential agreement would require a face-to-face meeting with Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin and that effective security guarantees that Ukraine would not come under any form of attack.
War dividing a nation
The Ukrainian Leader, while speaking, pointed out that Russia’s invasion has caused the destruction of Russian-speaking cities in Ukraine. Later in an overnight video address to the country (Ukraine), Mr. Zelenskyy intimated that Ukraine seeks peace “without delay”.
Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, has long demanded a neutral Ukraine and guarantees that it would not join the NATO military alliance. After Russia gained independence on December 25, 1991, over the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is gradually bent toward the West, both the EU and NATO.
But Russia’s Leader aims to reverse that, seeing the fall of the Soviet Union as the “disintegration of historical Russia”. He claims Russians and Ukrainians are one people and as such, denied Ukraine its long history.
On Sunday, March 27, 2022, the Russian State Media Regulator, Roskomnadzor, instructed the press not to publish the interview with Ukraine’s Leader, adding that “an investigation has been started in order to identify the level of responsibility and what response will be taken” in relation to those who carried out the interview.
Roskomnadzor noted some of the media outlets that conducted the interview are designated “foreign agents” in Russia. The country recently passed new laws restricting the way in which Russian Media should report on the war in Ukraine. The interview was published by outlets now based outside Russia.
Ukraine blames Russia
Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Chief accused Moscow of seeking to split Ukraine into two, mirroring North and South Korea, after Russia failed to take control of the whole country.
A Senior Adviser to President Zelenskyy, Alexander Rodnyansky, in an interview disclosed that Ukraine would make no concessions on handing over territory to Russia.
“We’re certainly not willing to give up any territory or talk about our territorial integrity. If you ask the people who live in these areas, they wouldn’t want to live in Russia. How can we leave them? Let alone the whole idea of slicing up our country.”Senior Adviser to President Zelenskyy, Alexander Rodnyansky
Deaths within a month
According to NATO’s estimation, Russia is alleged to have lost as many as 15,000 troops in the Russia-Ukraine invasion. “Roughly 7,000 to 15,000 Russian troops have been killed in four weeks of fighting in Ukraine“, a Senior NATO Military Official said last Wednesday, March 23, 2022.
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