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Zelenskyy: Putin's goal is not occupation of separate territories but complete destruction of Ukraine

Friday, 8 March 2024, 14:58
Zelenskyy: Putin's goal is not occupation of separate territories but complete destruction of Ukraine
Screenshot from the President's office's video

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not interested in "just some territory": his plan is to destroy Ukraine completely.

Source: an interview by Zelenskyy for the Italian TV channel Rai 1, posted by the Office of the President of Ukraine

Quote: "I just do not think that his goal is to occupy territories. The strikes on civilian facilities, the intimidation of the population, the public statements by Putin’s inner circle in the Russian media – all these messages show that, as they say, they have not completed their mission and will continue to pursue it.


…All these messages indicate that their goal is not separate territories but the whole of Ukraine. So nobody except the Ukrainian forces and [our] allies guarantees anything for Ukraine.

We are convinced that Putin is not interested in just some territory: a city or a village, Crimea or Donbas. He is interested in the complete destruction of Ukraine and the integration of a once independent state into the territory of Russia.

He does these things either by force or using political means. What he has done in Belarus, he has done without bloodshed so far. He is completely in charge of the Belarusian security and armed forces. The invasion of Ukraine from the territory of Belarus on the first night of the full-scale invasion is proof of this.


That is the diplomatic occupation of an independent country and the loss of sovereignty for Belarus. He wasn’t able to do that politically in Ukraine.

…So he resorted to military occupation. He has no plan concerning Crimea or Donbas. That’s just rhetoric. His plan is to deprive Ukraine of its independence."

Details: Zelenskyy added that a pause in the war would be "a serious challenge for protecting Ukraine and its future". Moreover, he noted, there would then be the problem of a frozen conflict for the whole of Europe.

He stressed that Ukraine has experienced a frozen conflict – after the occupation of Crimea and part of Donbas.

Quote: "That was similar to what is now being said by some leaders and in some media outlets. They claim a pause is needed.

…But we have already been there. A pause in the war is not a pause in the war, but a pause for Putin."

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