As Ukraine’s counteroffensive moves into a fourth month, with only modest gains to show so far, Zelensky told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria he rejected suggestions it was time to negotiate peace with the Kremlin.
“When you want to have a compromise or a dialogue with somebody, you cannot do it with a liar,” Zelensky said.
The Wagner leader’s dramatic death, which followed a short-lived rebellion that threatened the authority of the Russian president, was a warning to be heeded, Zelensky suggested.
While the United States and other key Ukrainian allies continue to supply weapons to Kyiv, and stress that conditions to pursue a “just and durable” peace are not yet in place, a handful of world leaders, such as Brazil’s Lula Da Silva, have put the onus on Ukraine to end the war.
As evidence for his position, Zelensky cited other countries which have been attacked by Russian soldiers and continue to be partially occupied by them.
“Did you see any compromise from Putin on other issues? With Georgia? With Moldova?” Zelensky asked rhetorically.
At a conference in Kyiv, Zelensky claimed Putin was behind the death of Prigozhin, who died in an unexplained plane crash with his top lieutenants last month.
Zelensky has provided no evidence to back up his assertion.
“The fact that he killed Prigozhin – at least that’s the information we all have, not any other kind – that also speaks to his rationality, and about the fact that he is weak,” the president stated on Friday.
The Kremlin announced all possible causes of the crash will be investigated, including the possibility of foul play. It has called the suggestion that Putin ordered the deaths of Prigozhin and his men an “absolute lie”.