June 24, 2024

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Putin called Zelensky “illegitimate,” and Yanukovych unexpectedly ended up in Belarus (video)

Vladimir Putin said that the powers of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky ended on May 20, and he cannot be considered legitimate. He also announced his readiness for negotiations from Belarus.

He noted that if the countries do reach an agreement to end the war, then the legal leadership should participate in the discussion of the conditions, quotes his Interfax:

“Who to negotiate with is not an idle question. We are aware that the legitimacy of the current head [украинского] state is over.”

According to Putin, in order to convince the world otherwise and preserve Zelensky’s status, a summit was organized in Switzerland:

“I think one of the goals of the conference <...> is for the Western community – the sponsors of the current Kyiv regime – to confirm the legitimacy of the current head of state or the no longer active one.”

According to him, “these PR moves do not matter for legal documents”:

“We, of course, will need, if it comes to this, – and I proceed from the fact that peace negotiations must be resumed, and not with the help of ultimatums, but with the help of common sense, <...> – we, of course, need to understand with whom you can and should deal in order to sign legally binding documents.”

He emphasized that “this question must be answered in Ukraine itself” – first of all, “from the position of parliament and the Constitutional Court.” Putin suggested looking in the constitution of the neighboring country which government bodies “have the right to be extended without elections” and which do not.

Zelensky's five-year term expired on May 20. The Constitution of Ukraine prohibits holding elections, which our publication described in detail, while martial law is in force in the country. It was once again extended by the Verkhovna Rada for 90 days on May 8.

Putin also reiterated his readiness to resume peace negotiations with Ukraine. According to him, they should be based on “agreements of a fundamental nature” that were reached in Belarus and Turkey in the spring of 2022, as well as on “today’s realities on the ground,” tells The Moscow Times.

Earlier it became known that Putin again proposed to the West to “freeze” the war in Ukraine. Reuters sources reported the Russian president's readiness to conclude a truce provided that he retains control over the territories already captured. According to the agency's interlocutors, Putin understands that a further offensive will require a repetition of mass mobilization, the first wave of which – in the fall of 2022 – dropped the government's ratings and caused hundreds of thousands of Russians to flee abroad.

The Kremlin is confident that it can convince the electorate that the war's goals will be achieved. “Putin will say that we won, that NATO attacked us, and we retained our sovereignty and that we have a land corridor to Crimea,” one of the sources explained.

Against the backdrop of Putin’s statements about Zelensky’s “illegitimacy” and readiness to resume negotiations, the fugitive ex-president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych unexpectedly appeared. His plane was spotted in Belarus. This is where Putin is now located along with the new head of the Ministry of Defense Andrei Belousov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The last time Yanukovych was in Belarus was after the invasion of Ukraine began, in March 2022. His plane arrived in Minsk before the second and third rounds of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations, which took place on March 2 and 7.


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