UKRAINIAN President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday called for meaningful peace and security talks “without delay” with Moscow.
“This is the only chance for Russia to reduce the damage from its own mistakes,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address.
“It’s time to meet, it’s time to talk, it’s time to restore territorial integrity and justice for Ukraine. Otherwise, Russia’s losses will be such that you will need several generations to recover.”
His speech came as Russian president Putin had earlier spoken to tens of thousands of Russians at an event celebrating eight years since the annexation of Crimea.
“This is a totally deliberate tactic,” Zelenskyy said in his nighttime video address to the nation, filmed outside in Kyiv, with the presidential office in the lamplight behind him.
He said more than 9,000 people were able to leave besieged Mariupol in the past day, and in all more than 180,000 people have been able to flee to safety through humanitarian corridors.
He again appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold talks with him directly. “It’s time to meet, time to speak,” he said. “I want to be heard by everyone, especially in Moscow.”