The Kremlin on Thursday confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “exists” after Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelenskyy apparently asked if he was even “alive” when pushing for when peace talks could begin.
“This is not the cinema where you wait for a film to start,” he said on Wednesday, according to a live translation of his statements at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “This is a great tragedy.”
“The negotiations themselves are not automatically about peace,” he added.
In this photo provided by the Press Office of the President of Ukraine, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy looks on as he greets soldiers at the scene of the heaviest fighting with the Russian invaders in Bakhmut, Ukraine, on Tuesday, December 20, 2022 , meets. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
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Zelenskyy pointed not only to previously failed diplomatic talks between Ukraine and Russia, but also to Moscow’s brazen lies to other world leaders in the run-up to the invasion.
The Ukrainian president also said he was not sure at this point who was making the decisions in the Kremlin and questioned whether Putin still served as Russia’s president at all.
“I don’t understand that he is still alive or that it is he who makes the most decisions,” said Zelenskyy.
President Putin said on January 18, 2023 that he had “no doubt” that despite military setbacks in the nearly year-long offensive in Ukraine, Moscow would emerge victorious. (ILYA PITALEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)
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It’s unclear why Zelenskyy questioned whether Putin was alive when he was spotted at a World War II memorial in St. Petersburg on Wednesday.
Zelenskyy’s comments may have been a reference to how Putin has been withdrawing from public events in recent weeks, including his annual press conference, which lasted about four hours in 2021 but was canceled last month.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed any suggestion that Putin was gone, saying: “It is clear that both Russia and Putin are a big problem for Ukraine, and Zelenskyy prefers that neither Russia nor Putin exist.”
Ukrainian tankers carry out maintenance work on their tanks on the Donbass frontline as military mobility continues within the Russo-Ukrainian war on January 18, 2023. (Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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“But the sooner the Ukrainian regime realizes that Russia and Putin exist and will exist, that sooner or later it will still have to give up everything anti-Russian, the better for a country like Ukraine,” he added, according to Russian media RBC.
Caitlin McFall is a reporter at Fox News Digital covering politics, US and world news.