Ukraine rejects concessions to end war, talks about appeasement of Nazis

A dandelion is pictured next to ammunition casings collected at the Mlybor flour mill factory after it was repeatedly shelled, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Chernihiv region, Ukraine, May 24 2022. REUTERS/Edgar su

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May 25 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday criticized suggestions that kyiv would cede territory and make concessions to end the war with Russia, saying the idea looked like attempts to appease the Nazi Germany in 1938.

The angry comments from Zelenskiy and a senior official come as Ukrainian troops face a new offensive in two eastern regions partly seized by Russian-speaking separatists in 2014. read more

The New York Times editorial board said on May 19 that a negotiated peace could force kyiv to make tough decisions, given that a decisive military victory was unrealistic.

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And former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger suggested this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos that Ukraine should let Russia keep Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.

“No matter what the Russian state does, you will always find someone who will say, ‘Let’s take their interests into account,'” Zelenskiy said in a late-night video address.

“You get the impression Mr. Kissinger doesn’t have 2022 on his calendar, but 1938, and he thinks he’s addressing an audience not in Davos but in Munich at the time.”

In 1938, Britain, France, Italy and Germany sighed a pact in Munich that gave Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler land in then-Czechoslovakia in a failed attempt to persuade to abandon further territorial expansion.

“Maybe The New York Times wrote something similar in 1938 as well. But let me remind you, we are now in 2022,” Zelenskiy said.

“Those who advise Ukraine to give something to Russia, these ‘great geopolitical figures’, never see ordinary people, ordinary Ukrainians, millions living in the territory they are offering to trade for a peace illusory.”

Italy and Hungary have urged the European Union to explicitly call for a ceasefire in Ukraine and peace talks with Russia, at odds with other member states determined to take a hard line with Moscow. Read more

Earlier, in a profanity-filled tirade, Zelenskiy’s adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said some European nations clearly wanted Ukraine to make concessions to Putin.

“No one is going to trade a gram of our sovereignty or a millimeter of our territory,” he said in video remarks posted online. “Our children are dying, soldiers are being shelled and they are telling us to sacrifice territory. Get lost. That will never happen.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman earlier said an Italian peace plan for Ukraine was a “fantasy”.

“You cannot supply Ukraine with weapons with one hand and make plans for a peaceful resolution of the situation with the other,” said Maria Zakharova during her weekly briefing, referring to the Italian initiative.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio outlined the plan last week. The Kremlin said on Tuesday it had not seen the initiative but hoped to receive it through diplomatic channels.

Zakaharova said of the reported proposal: “If they hope that the Russian Federation will seize on any Western plan, then they haven’t understood much.”

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Reporting by David Ljunggren and Ronald Popeski; edited by Richard Pullin

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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