The Kremlin confirmed on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “there” after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to question whether he was “still alive” when pressed about when to start peace negotiations.
“This is not the cinema where you wait for a movie to start,” he said Wednesday, according to a direct translation of his comments at the Davos World Economic Forum. “This is a great tragedy.”
“The negotiations in and of themselves are not automatically related to peace,” he added.
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Zelensky not only referred to previously failed diplomatic talks between Ukraine and Russia, but Moscow’s blatant lies to other world leaders in the run-up to the invasion.
The Ukrainian president also said that at this point he was not sure who was making decisions within the Kremlin and wondered if Putin was still serving as President of Russia.
“I don’t understand that he is still alive or that he makes decisions privately,” Zelensky said.
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It is unclear why Zelensky wondered if Putin was still alive as he was seen Wednesday at a World War II memorial in Saint Petersburg.
Zelensky’s comments may have been an indication of how Putin has withdrawn from public events in recent weeks, including his annual press conference that lasted about four hours in 2021 but was canceled last month.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed any suggestion that Putin no longer exists and said: “It is clear that both Russia and Putin are a big problem for Ukraine and for Zelensky. Obviously, purely psychologically, Mr. Zelensky would prefer that neither Russia nor Putin exist.” “.
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He added, according to Russian media, “But the sooner the Ukrainian regime realizes that Russia and Putin exist and will continue to exist, that sooner or later they will have to abandon everything anti-Russian, the better for a country like Ukraine.” RBC.