Thursday, February 9, 2023

Kremlin: With US visit, Ukraine has shown it wants war

KYIV, Ukraine ( Associated Press) — Russian officials said Thursday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to the United States shows that he and his allies in Washington are not pushing for peace in Ukraine.

Zelensky received a standing ovation in Congress during the hastily arranged visit on Wednesday, the president’s first trip abroad as far as is known since Russian troops invaded the country on February 24. Hours before his arrival, Washington announced a new $1.8 billion aid package for Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that sending more advanced weapons to Zelensky’s forces would not end the conflict, characterized by protracted battles to gain ground and Russian airstrikes on electricity and water utilities.

Moscow did not hear “genuine calls for peace” during Zelensky’s visit and believes Washington is determined to “de facto and indirectly fight the last Ukrainian battle with Russia”, Peskov said. He also criticized Ukraine’s “savage shelling of residential buildings” in Russian-occupied areas in the east of the country.

A Moscow-based leader in the partially occupied Donetsk region reported that Ukrainian shelling of a hotel in the city of Donetsk killed two people and wounded several others, including a Russian deputy prime minister.

A Kremlin-appointed official was killed in a car bomb explosion in the southern Kherson region on Thursday, Russian state media reported. The casualties are revealing of the stakes and ferocity of the fighting for control of the four regions that Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally annexed in September.

Zelensky arrived in Poland on Thursday during his return trip, he himself reported on social media. He said he met “a friend from Ukraine”. After getting off the plane, he hugged Polish President Andrzej Duda and the two sat down to talk.

Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, accused Zelensky and the Americans of “concentrating on the war … moreover, propagating the Ukrainian regime for Washington’s needs”.

Russian state TV tried to downplay the military and political support Zelensky enjoyed in Washington. He insisted that not all MLAs were present for the speech. Commentators also highlighted the Ukrainian president’s “casual dress” during President Joe Biden’s visit to the White House.

Nation World News Desk
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