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Russian Head of Istanbul Negotiations: ‘Zelenskyy Chose War’

The leader of the Russian delegation at the 2022 Istanbul peace talks with Ukraine, the former Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky, has now weighed in on the peace agreement that then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson forced Kiev turn to down in April 2022. His counterpart, the leader of Ukraine’s delegation at the time, Davyd Arakhamia, started a firestorm of commentary over the last week, when he admitted that Johnson had disrupted the peace treaty and pushed Ukraine into escalated warfare. Yesterday Medinsky explained to the press that Kiev could have stopped the conflict in April 2022 by recognizing the independence of the two Donbass republics and accepting Crimea as Russian territory.

However, Ukraine “missed the opportunity” to end the war and save “hundreds of thousands of lives,” Medinsky stated. “Among our non-negotiable demands were the recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea [and] the recognition of the independence of the Donbass republics.” Moscow also had “a long list of humanitarian demands” pertaining to the “protection of the Russian-speaking population of Donbass.”

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