According to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, if Ukrainian forces in Donbas are unable to defend their positions, a repeat attack against Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast [province] is very certain.
“If our forces in Donbas are unable to defend their positions, the likelihood of a repeat onslaught against Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast [region] is practically certain,” says Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
After failing to conquer Kiev, Russia has recently pulled back its efforts.
Russia stated it was concentrating its efforts on totally “liberating” the Donbas area in eastern Ukraine.
Nonetheless, Zelenskyy stated that a second onslaught against the capital would not be ruled out if Russia made military successes in the east.
The fate of the Donbas area, as well as Crimea, which Russia invaded and seized in 2014, has been at the center of continuing talks.
Claims of Russian crimes in Bucha, where a mass grave has been discovered, signaled that “we don’t have a positive climate in our negotiations”. “We would like these territories to be returned and they [Russians] are not considering these territories as part of Ukraine,” Zelenskyy added.
While Zelenskyy is willing to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he noted that alleged Russian crimes in Bucha, where a mass grave was discovered, and other villages around the capital, indicated that “we don’t have a positive climate in our negotiations.”
In the meanwhile, Ukraine has stated that if the West provides it with solid security assurances, it would forgo its aspiration to join NATO and choose a neutral position.
Zelenskyy continued, “this agreement would be impossible without the Russian Federation.”
Following Russia’s invasion of Crimea, Ukraine is seeking security assurances to strengthen its defense.
Despite another round of discussions in Turkey last month that yielded little progress toward a peace accord, Zelenskyy said dialogue were the only way “to stop the bloodshed.”
Since renouncing its nuclear weapons stockpile as part of the Budapest Memorandum, a series of accords negotiated between 1993 and 1996, Ukraine is looking for security assurances to strengthen its defense.
Russia alleges Ukraine has broken the deal, citing one of the reasons for its incursion as the supposed pursuit of nuclear weapons.
“Those nations having nuclear weapons presently are not being taken,” Ukrainian President Zelenskyy said Al Jazeera.
“We have weakened our status, our defence. We have weakened our population. This is what we have given away. We have given away the lives of those people who died.”