Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during talks with journalists in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Ukrainian President is holding an all-day “media marathon” in a Kyiv food court amid growing questions about his actions as president. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
world

Putin says he doubts Ukraine can deliver on peace process

18 Comments
By YURAS KARMANAU and NATALIYA VASILYEVA

Russian President Vladimir Putin lamented Friday the inability of his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to ensure a pullback of heavy weaponry in eastern Ukraine as the first step toward peace settlement.

Putin's remarks on Friday came a week after Ukraine, along with Russia and separatists in eastern Ukraine, signed an accord to pull back heavy weaponry and to hold an election in the area at a later date.

The pullback has not occurred because of shelling from both sides and threats from Ukrainian hardliners to hamper the disengagement, prompting Zelenskiy to argue that there won't be one so long as there are those who "don't want the disengagement" and "do random shooting."

Russia has said the pullback needs to take place before a summit scheduled for this month between Putin, Zelenskiy, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Russia has vehemently denied its role in funding, arming and training the rebels, insisting that Kyiv faces a civil war.

Several opposition parties and far-right groups have opposed Zelenskiy's commitment to pull back weaponry in two locations near the separatist-held areas as well as his promise to support a local election, saying he's giving away too much.

Putin said that Russia is supportive of the initiatives to bring peace to the separatist-held eastern Ukraine where 13,000 people have died since 2014 but said it is up to Zelenskiy and the Ukrainian establishment to see through the accords.

"We've agreed on the pullback of the forces but the current president still can't ensure the pullback," Putin said at a meeting in Turkmenistan. "He just can't."

Zelenskiy scored a major political victory last month when he successfully negotiated with Putin a major prisoner exchange, which saw 70 people — some of whom were imprisoned for several years — return home in Ukraine and Russia, respectively.

Zelenskiy, who was a successful comedian and entertainment producer before he won the election by a landslide in April, made it his top priority to bring an end to the war in Ukraine's industrial heartland.

Far-right groups are planning to stage a major rally in the capital Kyiv on Monday against Zelenskiy's peace plan.

Speaking at a military awards ceremony in Odessa on Friday, Zelenskiy said he works "24 hours a day" to bring about peace but insisted that he stands firm on Ukraine's commitment to hold a local election in eastern Ukraine as long as the vote is held under the Ukrainian law and in the presence of international observers.

Kyiv's Joint Forces' Operation in the east said Friday that their positions have come under repeated shelling in the past 24 hours.

In Donetsk, separatist commander Ruslan Yakubov told the DAN News website that the rebel forces were ready for the pullback but did not go ahead because Kyiv did not indicate its readiness.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


18 Comments
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Several opposition parties and far-right groups have opposed Zelenskiy's commitment to pull back weaponry in two locations near the separatist-held areas as well as his promise to support a local election, saying he's giving away too much

Giving away too much?!?

All that is being asked is to stop using artillery against civilians in East Ukraine and to allow them to vote.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Putin says he doubts Ukraine can deliver on peace process

Classic. The pot calling the kettle black.

Who invaded who? Who annexed Crimea?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Expect Donnie to utter these same words over the next few days - Putin pulls the strings and talks and his puppet Trump's mouth moves...

Like watching an episode of Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Classic. The pot calling the kettle black.

Who invaded who? Who annexed Crimea?

Who started the coup in Kiev and brought to power Ukrainian neonazis? Who started the military operation against the people of Donetsk / Lugansk and planned the same bloodbath for Crimea? Crimeans enjoy a peaceful and happy life now, by the way.

Yes, the pot calling the kettle black.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Putin is merely asking that the citizens of East Ukraine be given the opportunity to vote.

Hardliners in Kiev don't want to allow them to vote.

It's not a democracy if the citizens can't vote, no wonder the citizens of East Ukraine want to leave.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Putin is merely asking that the citizens of East Ukraine be given the opportunity to vote.

Putin meddling in foreign countries' affairs. Not his business.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Asakaze

As has been reported, the former president of Ukraine ran for his life and now lives a comfortable life in Russia, so it doesn't sound exactly like he was such a popular social figure in Ukraine, does it? As a matter of fact, it looks like he was despised by everybody but Putin and the Russians.

But, enough of this, a couple simple questions for you, Asakaze, and a simple yes or no will suffice . . .

Do you agree with Russia's invasion of Ukraine?

Do you agree with Russia's annexation of Crimea?

Do you like Donald Trump?

Just a simple yes or no to each question is enough.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Chip Star

Putin meddling in foreign countries' affairs. Not his business.

He just expressed his opinion, it hardly qualifies as meddling. Western claims like "Assad must go", "Maduro is illegitimate", "Iran must do...." etc. are real meddling.

@stormcrow

the former president of Ukraine ran for his life and now lives a comfortable life in Russia, so it doesn't sound exactly like he was such a popular social figure in Ukraine

So what? Does it mean that the only way of dealing with unpopular presidents is a neonazi coup with massive foreign support? Or may be it's better to wait a year or two for the next elections?

Do you agree with Russia's invasion of Ukraine?

Have not seen one. Russian invasion is just like a UFO - a lot of talk by weirdos of all kind, but no hard facts.

Do you agree with Russia's annexation of Crimea?

Absolutely. If it's OK for Kosovo to leave Serbia after NATO aggression, why it is not possible for Crimeans to leave without a single shot fired?

Do you like Donald Trump?

What's the connection with the subject?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Asakaze

"So what?"

Had the former president walked out calmly and retired, it would have looked helluva lot better. However, in his case, he looked more like Idi Amin escaping the country just steps ahead of the angry masses in Uganda.

"Have not seen one."

Oh, then the invasion and annexation of Crimea by Russia is just fake news. It never happened.

"What's the connection with the subject?"

It was a personal question. You just come across like the type who'd love Trump.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@stormcrow

Had the former president walked out calmly and retired

Had the former president enough guts to dispel the rioters there would be no civil war in Ukraine.

Idi Amin escaping the country just steps ahead of the angry masses in Uganda

There were no "masses" in Ukraine, just several thousands well-organized rioters, actively encouraged on the streets by McCain, Nuland and other foreign meddlers. "Meddling in internal affairs of other state? No sir!".

Oh, then the invasion and annexation of Crimea by Russia

Do you sincerely imply that Crimeans do not want to be a part of Russia where the region really belongs to, Russian Army forced the locals? And any proof of Russian invasions in 2015-19 weirdos love to talk about? Anyway, nice to see you have nothing to say about Kosovo. That was a real invasion and occupation!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Must be hard for the People Ukraine, there are many Russian speaking citizens there. Back when they were apart of Russia settlers moved in and they are still there. Putin paid Ukraines' IMF loan payment as if Ukraine was apart of Russia.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

To me it looks like Ukraine was splintering back when Obama promised Ukraine UN mdmbership. Beforehand the then Pres of Ukraine may have been influenced by Russia to go in their direction and Obama could not prevent this with UN membership. Anyway Ukraines' border last I checked had full on Russian Army testing for weakness. Ukraine soldiers at the ready for combat engagement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Asakaze

So basically what you're saying is that if a sizable number of people of a particular province speak another language or are culturally more similar to the invading country than to the home country, then it's OK for a foreign invader to take it over and annex it.

Is that about right?

It would be kind of like France invading and taking over Quebec because Quebec has more in common with France in terms of language and culture than it does with Canada.

If the people in Quebec are wishing for a French invasion, shouldn't they make plans to move back to France? Couldn't the same be said about people in Crimea who identify more with Russia than Ukraine? Didn't the Germans use similar excuses to invade some of its neighbors in WWII?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@stormcrow

Is that about right?

Let's talk not about Quebec, let's talk about much recent events like the unification of Germany. There were two German states, Western Germany and Eastern Germany. In 1990 Western Germany annexed the Eastern (the process was camouflaged by nice words about unification, but everybody knew it was a proper annexation, not a union of equals). Why there were no international outcry, sanctions?

If it's OK for Eastern Germans to become a part of a neighbor country, why it's not OK for the populace of Crimea? If you like history so much then check the history of Crimea that was part of Russia since XVIII century.

If the West is so concerned with territorial integrity it must, first of all, return the province of Kosovo to its lawful owner, Serbia.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, who would you trust more ? Zelenskiy  or Putin ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Asakaze

"Let's talk not about Quebec . . . "

Why not? It's more relevant than the reunification of West and East Germany.

" . . . let's talk about much recent events like the unification of Germany. In 1992 Western Germany annexed the Eastern . . . "

Are you serious?! The only reason it took so long for East Germany to reunify with West Germany was because the Russians were occupiers there for so long. Annexation? That's funny thinking! East and West Germany were separated because of a war and occupation by the USSR, but the same is not true regarding Ukraine and Crimea.

In 1954 the former USSR leader Nikita Khrushchev officially gave Crimea to Ukraine.

Do you know what an Indian Giver is? It's somebody who gives away something to someone else and then later changes their mind and wants and tries to take it back.

Russia is a big Indian Giver.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@stormcrow

Are you serious?! The only reason it took so long for East Germany to reunify with West Germany was because the Russians were occupiers

Are you serious? The very partition of Germany happend only because the Americans were occupiers. The Soviets bore the brunt of the war.

Annexation? That's funny thinking!

Let's see. Political system of East Germany was dismantled (West's remained intact), Eastern political leaders were kicked out of the politics (Western remained in power), East's armed forces and itelligence services were disbanded (West's remained intact), Western conglomerates devoured East's economy, Eastern Germans were treated like second-class poor cousins, "ossie". You call it unification of equals? That is funny!

In 1954 the former USSR leader Nikita Khrushchev officially gave Crimea to Ukraine

Administrative control for more convenient management of economic projects. Ukraine was not an independent country at that time, just another Soviet region. If you leave a union (USSR) give back what is not yours.

You fail to comprehend one basic thing: Russia did not take Crimea by force or threat to use force. The populace of Crimea made the choice. Even Ukrainian army units stationed in Crimea happily got rid of their uniforms and enlisted in the Russian forces. Crimeans just kicked out the local administration the Kiev coup plotters tried to enforce on them, with very friendly motto "Be Ukrainian or be dead".

Your silence on the subject of Kosovo is duly noted. Safer to talk about Quebec, heh?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Asakaze

Come, come now! If the Americans hadn't been in W. Germany, Stalin and the Red Army would've been occupying more of Europe than they already were at that time. Let's see, where was the Russian army? Poland, Yugoslavia, Hungary, etc., etc, And you guys didn't leave for a long time to come, so there was a justifiable reason for having a military presence in W. Germany.

"The Soviets bore the brunt of the war."

I won't disagree with you on that, and my hat's off to them. They're a tough and resilient people and they've proved it time and time again.

I'm not exactly sure what you're point is in your 2nd paragraph, but I agree it was messy trying to get a defeated country and a crushed economy like W. Germany's up and running again. As I recall, W. Germany did far better than their fellow countrymen & women in E. Germany.

In regard to Crimea, the fact is Khrushcev did officially hand it over to Ukraine in 1954. It doesn't matter if whether or not there were a bunch of Russians living there at the time. Crimea didn't belong to them. Crimea belongs to Ukraine, again according to Khrushcev's 1954 agreement, and Crimea does not belong to Russia or the Russian citizens who happen to live there. You can use pretzel logic all you like, but it doesn't change the fact that Khrushcev made a 1954 agreement officially handing over Crimea to Ukraine. Why did he do it? I have no idea and you can argue about that, but the fact is the USSR handed Crimea over to Ukraine. And that's a fact you can't change.

Russia invaded and annexed Crimea against Ukraine's wishes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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