Tuesday, January 31, 2023

News summary of Russia’s war in Ukraine since November 8

Kyiv residents express skepticism about any talks with Russia

A lighted tree on a dark and empty street in Kyiv, Ukraine on November 7, 2022. Recent Russian attacks in Ukraine have targeted power plants (Credits: Ed Ramm / Getty Images)

Many residents of the Ukrainian capital said the idea of ​​a negotiated end to Russia’s aggression would only be possible if Russia withdrew from Ukrainian territory.

In recent weeks, senior US officials have urged Ukraine to say they are still open to diplomatic talks with Russia, amid concerns that the country’s war effort could be undermined if there is no end to the war. There may be less support for is ready to begin peace talks, sources familiar with the discussions told CNN.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has ruled out talks with Russia while President Vladimir Putin remains in command. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Russia is “open” to talks with Ukraine, but the time is not right for talks.

CNN took to the streets of Kyiv on Tuesday to get an idea of ​​what the city’s residents think about the prospect of talks with Russia.

Daryana Choupat is a 20-year-old student who said the mood in Ukraine is “win or die”.

“We have to get back to our old borders, or at least try to,” he told CNN. “There is an opinion that Ukraine will win 100% only if Russia falls. This sounds like a great idea to me because any deal with Russia is nothing more than empty words. None of their guarantees are really guarantees at all.”

Zoya Popova, a 70-year-old retiree, said she agreed with Zelensky that the only acceptable outcome was a complete withdrawal of Russian troops.

“We cannot talk to them, because Ukraine’s losses are huge,” he said. “We cannot count those losses yet, and we will not be able to until the entire territory of Ukraine is liberated.”

“Ultimately, there must be a trial in The Hague. After that we can discuss any kind of peace.

Valentina Polischuk, 53, said that “all ways to achieve peace, including negotiations, are good, but only if they take into account our demands.”

He said that while Crimea was a “complicated matter”, the regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Gershon claimed by Russia “belong to us”.

“If our terms are accepted – even if it is difficult for the Russians they can find a way and do it – and if they leave, the war will be over,” he said.

Ukraine should hold talks with Russia, he said, but if the talks fail, “we will have to ask for help from our allies, defend ourselves and get them out of here.”

Vlad, a 31-year-old man who provided only his first name because he was serving in the military, said the “only way” to start talks is “if we get all our borders back.”

Negotiations are impossible, he said, “because their attitude towards us is not humane.”

“How can we negotiate with them if in a few years they may again wage war on us? What we should discuss with them is not war, but the fact that we will not give up our territories under any circumstances.”

“These talks can start only if we bring our borders back to their 1991 position,” which includes Crimea and Donetsk and Lugansk, he said. “Any other kind of talks with them are futile, because all Russia wants is to restore the Soviet Union.”

CNN’s Natasha Bertrand, Kylie Atwood and Oren Lieberman contributed to this article.

Nation World News Desk
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