Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday called on the Ukrainian military to take power and assured that with them “it will be easier to reach an agreement” to put an end to the Russian military operation that began this Thursday.
ANALYSIS | Why Putin breaks the deck and bets on war
“Take power in your hands! Apparently it will be easier to reach an agreement with you than with that gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis that has settled in Kiev and has kidnapped the entire Ukrainian people,” he declared at a meeting. with the Russian Security Council engaged in the military operation.
The Russian president has called on the Ukrainian military “not to allow neo-Nazis to use your children, your wives and the elderly as human shields.” Hours earlier, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, had called on Putin to sit down at the negotiating table, an option that the Kremlin did not immediately rule out, but to which he has not yet given a clear answer. “We are not afraid of Russia, we are not afraid to talk to Russia, to talk about everything: about guarantees for our state, about the status of neutrality,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zeneski said in a message to the nation.
Ukraine, ready to talk after the Russian advance
Russian troops have already entered Kiev after an early morning bombardment and “missile” attack -as the Ukrainian Foreign Minister has denounced-, from which the Ukrainian population has tried to take refuge in subway stations and basements.
After the first day of the Russian invasion, Zelenski has denounced that the purpose of the attack is to remove him from power. “According to our information, I am the number one target of the enemy. My family the second. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state.”
For his part, the Russian Foreign Minister, Seguéi Lavrov, has stated that he believes that the Ukrainian is “lying” about his willingness to debate neutrality and has assured that Russia does not recognize the Ukrainian government as “democratic” because “it oppresses and uses genocidal methods against its own people. An alleged genocide that Putin also alleged, although without evidence. However, the Kremlin seems willing to hold talks with Ukraine, even the spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, has advanced that Putin is ready to send a Russian delegation to Minsk.
Meanwhile, European leaders are preparing a second package of sanctions agreed on Thursday night by the heads of state and government of the EU. They are preparing to freeze the assets of Putin and Lavrov, in addition to incorporating other measures against banks, public companies and other Russian sectors. “The Kremlin must be held accountable,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.