Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Thursday morning that he did not fully understand whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was still alive. He made the remarks at the Ukrainian breakfast, which was a private event, as he pressed when peace talks would begin. However, there is video of Mr Zelensky’s remarks appeared on Twitter. Russian leaders hit back, saying Ukraine’s president “would prefer that neither Russia nor Putin existed.”
Also read | Russia-Ukraine war: Zelenskyy expects “strong decisions” about western arms deliveries
At the breakfast event, Mr. Zelensky said: “Today I don’t quite understand who to talk to and what to talk about. I’m not sure if the Russian President who sometimes appears in front of a green screen is the right one. I don’t quite understand if he’s alive, if he’s making the decisions, or who’s making the decisions there.”
“I don’t quite understand how you can make a promise to European leaders and start a full-scale invasion of the state the next day. I just don’t quite understand who we’re dealing with. When we say ‘peace talks’ – I don’t quite understand with whom,” he said, according to Ukrainska Pravda.
Hours after his speech, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov issued a strong rebuttal. Fox News quoted him as saying: “It is clear that both Russia and Putin are a big problem for Ukraine and for Zelenskyy. And it is clear that, purely psychologically, Zelenskyy would prefer that neither Russia nor Putin exist. The sooner he realizes that Russia exists and will exist, the better for a country like Ukraine.”
Through his comments, Mr. Zelenskyy may have mocked Mr. Putin, who has withdrawn from public events in recent weeks. He also canceled his annual press conference in December.
Featured Video of the Day
“Opportunity window looks good for India”: KTR, business leader in Davos