Ukrainian officials have strongly rebuked suggestions that Kyiv should recognize Crimea as Russian territory and accept separatist control over the Donbas region as a way to end the war.
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made the suggestion at the World Economic Forum earlier this week and urged that negotiations should start soon. Responding to Kissinger, Zelensky likened his ideas to negotiating with Hitler in Munich before the start of World War II.
“Mr. Kissinger has emerged from the deep past and said that part of Ukraine should be given to Russia to avoid the alienation of Russia from Europe,” Zelensky said in a Wednesday night address.
“It seems that Mr. Kissinger has 1938 on the calendar instead of 2022 and he thought that he was addressing the audience in Munich of those times, instead of the audience in Davos,” he added.
The editorial board of The New York Times made a similar suggestion to Kissinger’s in an article last week. The board wrote: “A decisive military victory for Ukraine over Russia, in which Ukraine regains all the territory Russia has seized since 2014, is not a realistic goal.”
Zelensky again compared the board’s view to negotiating with Hitler in Munich. “Symptomatic editorials have also emerged in some Western media saying that Ukraine must accept so-called difficult compromises by ceding its territory in exchange for peace. Perhaps, The New York Times wrote something similar in 1938. But let me remind you that now is still the year 2022,” he said.
Oleksiy Arestovych, a YouTuber and advisor to Zelensky, delivered an expletive-filled tirade against those calling for Ukraine to negotiate and cede territory. “Go f**k yourselves with such proposals, you dumb f**ks, to trade Ukrainian territory a little bit! Are you f**king crazy? Our children are dying, soldiers are stopping shells with their own bodies, and they are telling us how to sacrifice our territories. This will never happen,” he said, according to RT.
As the war drags on, Russia is slowly making gains in the east, and Ukraine is losing leverage for potential peace talks. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Thursday that the situation in the Donbas is very bad for Ukraine’s forces and urged the West to send more weapons.