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Putin demands Ukraine's capitulation, Zelensky denounces "Hitler"-style ultimatum

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday effectively set Ukraine's surrender as a condition for talks, with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky immediately rejecting a “Hitler-style” “ultimatum” on the eve of a summit in Switzerland devoted to ways to achieve peace and from which Russia is excluded.

Ukraine, the United States and NATO immediately rejected these conditions from the Kremlin's master.

“These messages are ultimatum messages (…) Hitler did the same thing, when he said +Give me a part of Czechoslovakia and we'll leave it at that+, but no, these are lies,” Volodymyr Zelensky commented in an interview with the Italian news channel SkyTG24.

The Russian president, whose army has for several months regained the initiative on the front against Ukrainian forces lacking men and ammunition, has demanded that kyiv renounce joining NATO and withdraw from the Donetsk regions , Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia which Russia already partially occupies and claims to annex in addition to Crimea.

“As soon as kyiv (…) begins the effective withdrawal of troops and will notify the abandonment of its plan to join NATO, we will immediately, this very minute, give the order to cease fire and begin negotiations,” Mr. Putin said to the executives of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Meeting these conditions would constitute a de facto surrender of Ukraine, the objective of which is to reestablish its territorial integrity and sovereignty within its borders. internationally recognized.

If the Russian army has the initiative on the front, it has suffered considerable losses there for two years and is unable to gain a decisive advantage .

The Kremlin proclaimed the annexation of four regions in eastern and southern Ukraine in September 2022, in addition to that of Crimea in 2014.

– “Manipulation” –

Vladimir Putin insisted on Friday that Ukraine must hand over all of these territories to Russia, even though Moscow is not occupying them only partially and the fighting still rages there.

Putin demands Ukraine's capitulation, Zelensky denounces "Hitler"-style ultimatum

Ukraine: positions of military forces © AFP – Valentin RAKOVSKY, Sophie RAMIS, Cléa PECULIER

The Russian president also denigrated the peace summit, from which Russia was excluded, planned in Switzerland for June 15 and 16 at the initiative of Ukraine. kyiv hopes that the approximately 90 delegations present, despite the absence of China in particular, will reach a consensus to increase pressure on the Kremlin.

Mr. Putin denounced a “stratagem to divert everyone's attention” from the real responsibilities in the conflict, namely, in his reading, those of Ukraine and the West.

Mykhaïlo Podoliak, advisor to the Ukrainian presidency, insisted that Russian demands “clash with common sense” and constitute “an offense against international law”.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced “manipulative statements”, and considered that Vladimir Putin had made these remarks on the eve of the summit in Switzerland because “Russia is afraid of real peace”.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, whose country is Kiev's main military and financial backer, said Mr. Putin was “not in a position to dictate to Ukraine what what it must do to achieve peace.”

Finally, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg estimated that the Russian leader was not acting ” good faith”.

The head of Russian diplomacy went for it, saying that those who “have ears will hear (Putin) and those who have a brain will understand him”.

“But I'm not sure that these organs of the human body work properly” in the West, Sergei Lavrov blurted out on Russian television.

– “Theft” of assets Russians –

Vladimir Putin also denounced Thursday's decision by the G7 to guarantee a $50 billion loan to Ukraine with future interest on Russian assets frozen since start of the Russian offensive

“Even if we embellish things, theft is still theft and it will not go unpunished”, he said.

Putin demands Ukraine's capitulation, Zelensky denounces "Hitler"-style ultimatum

Volodymyr Zelensky during a press conference at Masseria San Domenico on the sidelines of the G7 in Savelletri in Puglia, June 13, 2024 © AFP – Mandel NGAN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for the pure and simple confiscation of the 300 billion euros in assets of the Russian central bank frozen by the West for two years, which they refuse for reasons of legal reasons.

On the ground, Ukrainian forces continue to resist multiple assaults, particularly in the east of the country, where Moscow has been encroaching on ground since the start of the year.

“Almost daily, we repel two or three attacks,” Maxime, commander of a company of tankers in the 59th brigade fighting in the Pokrovsk area.

“There was a marked increase in the number of enemy soldiers and they brought armored vehicles as well as long-range artillery”, added this 38-year-old soldier.

Finally, Ukraine continues to be forced to ration electricity, its energy infrastructure having been ravaged by Russian strikes. On Friday, outages are planned from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. across the country.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116