The Kremlin says it is up to Zelenskyy to decide when Ukraine war ends

The Kremlin said Thursday it’s up to Ukraine’s president to end the military conflict in the country, suggesting terms that Kyiv has repeatedly rejected, while Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to press on with the fighting despite Western criticism.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “(Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelenskyy knows when it may end. It may end tomorrow if he wishes so.”

Russia has long said that Ukraine must accept Russian conditions to end the fighting, now in its tenth month. It has demanded that Kyiv recognises Crimea – a Ukrainian peninsula that Moscow illegally annexed in 2014 – as part of Russia and also accept Moscow’s other land gains since war broke out. 

Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials have repeatedly rejected those conditions, saying the war will end when the occupied territories are retaken or Russian forces leave them.

Putin vowed on Thursday to achieve his declared goals in Ukraine regardless of the Western reaction.

“All we have to do is make a move and there is a lot of noise, chatter, and outcry all across the universe. It will not stop us from fulfilling combat tasks,” he said.

He described Russian strikes on Ukraine’s energy facilities and other key infrastructure as a legitimate response to the October bombing of a Crimean bridge that links with Russia’s mainland. 

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