An aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has confirmed that as a condition for ending the war, Kyiv is demanding that Russia withdraw its troops from the border with Ukraine. Zelensky is also hopeful that international forces would be deployed to areas within Moscow’s borders.
On Monday, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted that a 100-120km demilitarized zone inside Russia is required for talks to commence saying, “It will be necessary to introduce a demilitarization zone of 100-120 km on the territory of Belgorod, Kursk, and Rostov republics. Probably with a mandatory international control contingent at the first stage.”
“Reduction of offensive weapons (missiles with extended range). International conference to organize control over the nuclear arsenal of the [Russian Federation],” Podolyak explained in a separate tweet.
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Monday’s tweets are the latest in a series of social media posts that Podolyak has made recently. On Saturday, he posted saying that the war could only be ended after Putin and his government had been removed from power.
Podolyak also noted that “there is nothing to talk about with” Putin’s government and added that the president should be extradited for war crimes.
Aside from the adviser’s social media posts, Ukraine has made little progress toward regaining any of the territory that is now under Russian control. Approximately 20% of Ukraine is controlled by Russian forces after the capture of Bakhmut last month after an almost year-long battle for the strategic city. According to the Kremlin, Russia has annexed roughly 5 oblasts and is refusing to surrender control back to Kyiv.
There are concerns that Podolyak’s demands could hinder international attempts to negotiate some kind of peace agreement.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was working to make headway towards a deal but those efforts were derailed when Zelensky failed to attend a meeting with the president. Meanwhile, China and several leaders of several African nations are continuing to work towards a peace agreement or other negotiations that could end the war.
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