search
'Russian forces have come to exterminate us'

Zelensky says he’s ‘ready for negotiations’ with Putin, warns of WWIII if they fail

Ukrainian leader says ‘without negotiations, we cannot end this war,’ while stressing the heavy cost to human life as UN reports 10 million displaced Ukrainians since war started

In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine, early on March 20, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine, early on March 20, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that he was willing to meet with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and warned that if attempts at diplomacy fail, last month’s invasion of his country could prove to be the trigger for a third world war.

“I’m ready for negotiations with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations, we cannot end this war,” he told CNN. “If there’s just a 1% chance for us to stop this war, I think that we need to take this chance. We need to do that.”

Zelensky stressed the human cost the Russian offensive has caused so far.

“We’re losing people on a daily basis, innocent people on the ground. Russian forces have come to exterminate us, kill us,” he said.

“We have demonstrated the dignity of our people and army — that we are able to deal a powerful blow, we are able to strike back, but unfortunately, our dignity is not going to preserve the lives.

“I think we have to use any format, any chance, in order to have a possibility of negotiating, possibility of talking to Putin. But if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third world war,” Zelensky said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrive for a working session at the Elysee Palace, on December 9, 2019, in Paris. (Ian Langsdon/Pool via AP)

Earlier on Sunday, the United Nations reported that ten million people — around a quarter of Ukraine’s population — have now fled their homes due to Russia’s “devastating” war.

“Among the responsibilities of those who wage war, everywhere in the world, is the suffering inflicted on civilians who are forced to flee their homes,” said UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi.

More than three million have left the country, some 90 percent of whom are women and children. Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 are eligible for military call-up and cannot leave the country.

Zelensky last week indicated that Russia’s demands were becoming “more realistic.” Addressing his nation last Wednesday, he said that “efforts are still needed, patience is needed,” but noted that “any war ends with an agreement.”

People sit in a basement, used as a bomb shelter, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Marienko)

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden, who last week called Putin a war criminal due to the mounting number of Ukrainian deaths, has sought to provide more military support to Ukraine while also pledging to avoid provoking Moscow into “World War III.”

After Zelensky’s address to Congress last week, and in a possible attempt to help minimize the number of Ukrainian casualties, Biden promised to help Ukraine get better defenses against the Russian artillery that is pounding its cities.

A senior US official confirmed to Fox News on Sunday that Russia used at least one hypersonic missile to bomb Ukraine over the weekend.

President Joe Biden speaks in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, March 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

However, American officials don’t see Russia’s use of the advanced weapons system as part of a ramp-up for the possible use of nuclear arms, according to the network, and it suggests the Russian military could be running low on precision missiles and thus ramping up its efforts toward a diplomatic approach.

Zelensky, meanwhile, continues his public strategy of invoking the Holocaust, Winston Churchill, Hamlet, and the power of world opinion in his fight to stop Russia.

He is slated to address the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, on Sunday evening via Zoom.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed