Zelensky rules out giving any of Ukraine’s territory to Putin in potential peace deal with Russia as he insists it would ‘leave Kyiv weaker as a state’
- Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky ruled out giving away territory
- He said Russia ‘would keep coming back’ if such compromises were made
Voldymyr Zelensky has ruled out any peace deal with Vladimir Putin which would sacrifice Ukrainian territory, saying any such concessions ‘would make us weaker as a state’.
The Ukrainian president said Russia ‘would keep coming back’ if his country gave away territory, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion.
In an interview with the BBC’s John Simpson, Mr Zelensky said a greater supply of Western arms would bring peace closer by helping Ukraine to achieve victory.
He said: ‘Modern weapons speed up peace. Weapons are the only language Russia understands.’
Mr Zelensky said he could not consider compromises with Putin’s regime because he could not trust the dictator.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said he would not contemplate a peace deal with Russia which gives away Ukrainian territory
The Ukrainian president said an expected spring offensive by Russia had already begun. Pictured: A Ukrainian soldier fires a mortar in the embattled city of Bakhmut
He also said Ukraine could move to a closer partnership with the rest of Europe in the future.
He said: ‘Today our survival and unity is the sole goal. We’re moving towards Europe.
‘Ukraine chose this path, we can’t lose it. Ukraine wants security guarantees, we all want it, we are united.
‘Any territorial compromises would make us weaker as a state.
‘It’s not about compromise itself. Why would we fear that? There are millions of compromises in life.
‘The question is with whom? With Putin? No. Because there’s no trust.
‘Dialogue with him? No. Because there’s no trust.’
Mr Zelensky has repeatedly urged greater military support from Ukraine’s western allies, and met with UK and EU leaders last week to press the case for more supplies.
When asked whether the UK could send the war-torn nation fighter jets, Rishi Sunak said ‘nothing is off the table’.
The Ukrainian president has been frustrated with the speed of arms arriving from his allies, after it emerged tanks pledged by several countries including the UK would not reach Ukraine for several weeks.
He emphasised the importance of more military assistance in the face of a fresh offensive from Russia which he said has already begun.
Mr Zelensky also emphasised the need for more arms and support from Western countries to bring the war to an end. Pictured: Ukrainian soldiers take part in exercises in northern England
This month marks the one-year anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine
Mr Zelensky said attacks were ‘already happening from several directions’ as Putin attempts to regain ground in the war.
Russia is reported to be suffering some of its heaviest casualty rates of the war as remains locked in fighting with Ukrainian forces in the east of the country.
Ukrainian army officials have reported bodies of Russian soldiers being ‘piled up’ in trenches around the embattled city of Bakhmut, a key target for Putin.
Meanwhile, in an effort to hide losses, officials in Crimea are said to be burning dead troops in crematoriums ‘around the clock’.
Near the local crematorium in the village of Krasna Zorka, Crimea, there ‘is a constant line of military vehicles numbering up to 10 units’, Ukrainian armed forces said.
‘The occupiers use these trucks to bring dead Russian servicemen and mercenaries.’