Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says that negotiations with Russia to bring an end to the conflict “might not happen.”
Speaking at a television appearance, which was shared on the president’s official website, Zelensky claimed that there is “ample” evidence showing that Russian troops “destroy peaceful cities, torture, and kill civilians.”
“And in this meeting, we could find the way out of this situation, without losing our territory. I think that this is the bar we have to set for these negotiations. And then we will see. It might happen that there will be no negotiations. It might happen,” said Zelensky during his address.
Zelensky repeatedly referred to the alleged massacre in Bucha, which Russia has denied, stating, “We have just begun an investigation into all that the occupiers have done. At present, there is information about more than three hundred people killed and tortured in Bucha alone.”
“It is likely that the list of victims will be much larger when the whole city is checked. And this is only one city. One of the many Ukrainian communities that the Russian military managed to seize,” he added.
During the address, Zelensky drew comparisons to the Holocaust, claiming that the alleged war crimes in Bucha were much worse than the Nazi occupation of Ukraine 80 years ago.
“In many villages of the liberated districts of the Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy regions, the occupiers did things that the locals had not seen even during the Nazi occupation 80 years ago. The occupiers will definitely bear responsibility for this,” he said.
Zelensky vowed that Russia will suffer the consequences if it fails to negotiate peace with Ukraine, threatening that the dark days of the 1990s “will seem prosperous and calm.”
“If the Russian leadership does not begin to really seek peace, really negotiate peace, they will put their country in the worst condition in 50 years. The so-called wicked 90s will seem prosperous and calm,” he asserted.
As detailed by Summit News, questions have arisen over what really happened in Bucha, with the publication highlighting a Ukrainian police post on Facebook indicating that they had conducted a “clearing up” on the day before the videos emerged in Bucha showing dead bodies scattered around the city.
Independently, Reuters reported on Tuesday that the Pentagon is unable to independently confirm the alleged atrocities in Bucha.
“We're seeing the same imagery that you are. We have no reason whatsoever to refute the Ukrainian claims about these atrocities — clearly, deeply, deeply troubling,” a Pentagon official told the outlet.
“The Pentagon can't independently and single handedly confirm that, but we're also not in any position to refute those claims.”