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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Ukraine War: President Zelenskyy calls for ‘substantial’ peace talks, but Liz Truss warns Russia could use them as ‘smokescreen’ for war crimes

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Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for meaningful peace talks with Moscow, but UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has warned Russia could use them as a “smokescreen” for war crimes.

In a video address, Zelenskyy said this was Russia’s only chance to limit the damage of its mistakes in the wake of the invasion.

He said that Ukraine has always offered solutions to resolve the conflict and urged Moscow to engage in negotiations on peace and security that are “fair, substantial and without delay.”

The United States accuses Russia of preparing a false flag attack: Ukraine was the last

Key developments:
• Biden tells China’s Xi about ‘Consequences’ if Beijing gives Russia material support for invasion
• Former Prime Minister David Cameron driving van to poland with diapers and first aid kits for Ukrainian refugees
• Russian Attempts to take over the kyiv postsays the ukrainian army
• Putin praises the ‘special operation’ in Ukraine in mass celebration party

‘The time has come’

“I want everyone to listen to me now, especially in Moscow,” he said.

“The time has come for a meeting, it’s time to talk.

“The time has come to restore territorial integrity and justice for Ukraine.

“Otherwise Russia’s losses will be such that it will take several generations to recover.”

Peace talks between the two sides have made no progress in recent weeks.

Russia uses peace talks as a ‘smokescreen’

But UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told The Times she is concerned that Russia is using the pretext of negotiations to cover up an attempt to regroup troops for a new offensive.

“The Russians have songs, songs and songs,” he said.

“I am afraid that the negotiation is another attempt to create a distraction and create a smokescreen from the terrible [atrocities]… I mean, if a country is serious about negotiations, it doesn’t indiscriminately bomb civilians on that day.”

He said Ukraine has “the full right to undertake any negotiating process it deems appropriate” but said it is “very skeptical” about the talks.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday offered his support for Ukraine’s position in the negotiations during a call with President Zelenskyy.

He also said he was “more convinced than ever” that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military undertaking would fail as he said he had pledged to send more defensive weapons to Ukraine.

In an interview with Sky’s FYI program, he also said that Mr. Putin sees himself as heir to brutal Soviet dictator Joseph Stalinadding that his threat to use nuclear weapons is a “complete distraction” and part of a plot to “get away with it”.

Putin is waging a ‘war of attrition’

Britain’s defense intelligence chief said Putin had wrongly assumed the conflict would end quickly and was now waging a “war of attrition”.

Lieutenant General Sir Jim Hockenhull said the Kremlin had yet to achieve any of its initial goals, adding: “It has been shocked by the scale and ferocity of the Ukrainian resistance and has been beset by problems of its own making.”

He said Russia has been forced to change its strategy, resorting to “reckless and indiscriminate” use of firepower that will result in more civilian casualties.

Western officials have warned that the Russians have “huge” supplies of artillery ammunition that would allow them to continue bombing Ukrainian cities for weeks.

Over Two Million Medical Items Donated Amid Rising Civilian Casualties

Ukraine has said that thousands of its civilians have been killed since the invasion began.

Zelenskyy said there was no information on how many people had died after a theater in Mariupol, where hundreds had taken refuge, which was hit by an airstrike on Wednesday.

He said more than 130 people have been rescued so far, some of them seriously injured.

The UK has also donated more than two million medical items to help Ukraine, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

After Russia expanded its military attacks on Lviv in the west of the country on Friday, Britain sent a truck to the region with insulin injections and critical medicine for surgery.

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Putin has followed hail the country’s “special operation” in Ukraine – this time at a rally marking the anniversary of Crimea’s annexation in 2014.

Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, which hosted the World Cup final in 2018, was packed for the event, with patriotic songs and crowds waving Russian flags and chanting “Russia! Russia! Russia!”

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