MANIPULATION: Zelenskyi first assumed negotiations with Russia without Ukraine returning to the borders of 1991

MANIPULATION: Zelenskyi first assumed negotiations with Russia without Ukraine returning to the borders of 1991

19 April 2024

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Russian propagandists spread the news that President Zelenskyi allegedly assumed in his interview that Ukraine will not return to the internationally recognized border of 1991, but is considering returning to the demarcation line before the full-scale invasion of Russia on February 24, 2022.

This is manipulation. Ukraine has not given up on the full restoration of its territorial integrity. In an interview, Volodymyr Zelenskyi assumed the use of non-military methods for this. The president has made similar statements before.

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On March 29, 2024, an interview of Volodymyr Zelenskyi with the American CBS TV channel was published on the official YouTube page of the Office of the President. In it, Volodymyr Zelenskyi discussed the current situation at the front, the supply of Western military aid, etc.

In particular, when asked by CBS correspondent Charlie D’Agata whether the President of Ukraine is confident that Ukraine, provided it has sufficient weapons, will be able to liberate all territories seized by Russia, including Crimea, Volodymyr Zelenskyi answered that not only weapons will be needed for this: “I think if we will go forward, if we will have enough weapon and enough support from our partners, and if, like I said, all the economical trade between Russia and other countries will block. So, it is not only military steps. To win, it means to help Ukraine win economically, be strong on the battlefield, with sanctions and politically. We will not have to deoccupy all of our territories exclusively by the military means. I am sure that when he [Putin] loses what he has captured, captured since 2022, he will completely lose the confidence of even those countries that still doubt whether to support Ukraine or not, and he will also lose power within his state. As soon as this happens, he will be ready for dialogue. He doesn’t want any dialogue [now]. And when he is ready for dialogue, undoubtedly the international conditions should be the liberation of our territories, the territorial integrity of Ukraine. How it is done, in what ways, how much time it takes, who should participate, who are the negotiators, etc. — it is the second or even the third issue.”

Volodymyr Zelenskyi and representatives of the President’s Office have made similar statements before. Thus, in April 2022, Zelenskyi stated that the deoccupation of Donbas and Crimea by military means would be “very expensive”, and the Crimean issue could be resolved diplomatically. In April 2023, the deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Andrii Sybiha, commented for the Financial Times that negotiations with the Russian Federation on Crimea before the return of the peninsula by military means.

That is, Ukraine has not given up its plans to restore its territorial integrity. On the contrary, Zelenskyi assumed the use of non-military methods for this as well. On November 15, 2022, Volodymyr Zelenskyi presented the Ukrainian Peace Formula. It consists of 10 points, the fifth of which is the restoration of territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders on land and in territorial waters.


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