Zelenskyy criticises ‘great geopoliticians' who advise ceding territory to Russia

President compared them to those who in 1938 ceded territory to Hitler in hope of preventing Second World War

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday. AP
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday strongly rebuffed those in the West who have suggested Ukraine should cede control of areas occupied by Russian forces to reach a peace agreement.

Those “great geopoliticians” who suggest this are disregarding the interests of ordinary Ukrainians – “the millions of those who actually live on the territory that they propose exchanging for an illusion of peace", he said in his nightly video address to the nation.

“We always have to think of the people and remember that values are not just words."

In an Instagram post accompanying the message, Mr Zelenskyy said: “No matter what the Russian state does, there is always someone who says: 'Let's take its interests into account.'

"This year in Davos it was heard again, despite thousands of Russian missiles hitting Ukraine, despite tens of thousands of Ukrainians killed, despite Bucha and Mariupol, et cetera. Despite the destroyed cities.

"And despite the 'filtration camps' built by the Russian state, in which they kill, torture, rape and humiliate like on a conveyor belt. Russia has done all this in Europe.

"But still in Davos, for example, Mr [former US secretary of state Henry] Kissinger emerges from the deep past and says that a piece of Ukraine should be given to Russia, so that there is no alienation of Russia from Europe.”

Mr Zelenskyy compared those who say Russia should be given a piece of Ukraine to those who in 1938 ceded territory to Hitler in hopes of preventing the Second World War.

He said his army was facing the fiercest attack by Russian forces, who in some places have many more weapons and soldiers.

"We must do everything in our power so that the world develops a firm habit to take Ukraine into consideration, so that the interests of Ukrainians don't get overtaken by the interests of those rushing to yet another meeting with the dictator [Russian President Vladimir Putin]," Mr Zelenskyy said.

He appealed for even more military assistance from the West, “without exception, without restrictions. Enough to win.”

Updated: May 26, 2022, 7:35 AM