Protesters: Ukraine's leader must defend nation at summit

  • In US
  • 2019-12-08 14:16:14Z
  • By Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) - Several thousand people rallied Sunday in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv to demand that the president defend the country's interests in this week's summit with Russia, Germany and France on ending the war in eastern Ukraine.

Many Ukrainians are concerned that President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a political novice, could be out-maneuvered by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the summit on Monday in Paris.

Zelenskiy is eager to make progress on ending the war with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, where fighting has killed some 14,000 people since 2014. Russia wants to use the summit to increase pressure on Zelenskiy to fulfill the 2015 Minsk peace accord, which gives the rebel-held regions more autonomy in exchange for ending the fighting.

Germany and France helped to broker that 2015 deal, but it has been repeatedly ignored.

The Minsk accord calls for Ukraine to be able to regain control of its border with Russia only after local elections are held under Ukrainian law in the separatist regions and the regions receive autonomous status. But Zelenskiy says Ukraine must get control of its border before local elections are held.

At the rally in Kyiv's Independence Square, demonstrators held banners reading "No compromises!" and "No surrender!"

"I lost a lot of friends who were killed in the east, and I won't allow their blood to be shed in vain. The authorities are negotiating with the Russians and making some deals behind our backs," said Anton Trigub, a 36-year-old veteran of the fighting.

"For five years now, war has been going on in Ukraine, we are very tired ... But Putin can take advantage of this fatigue, and we do not need peace at all costs under Russian conditions," said Tamara Lukashuk, a 52-year-old musician.

Former President Petro Poroshenko, who lost his re-election bid to Zelenskiy, told the rally "if if this peace is a surrender of Ukrainian interests, it is not peace but capitulation ... we cannot allow elections at gunpoint."

Presidential spokeswoman Yulia Mendel said Zelenskiy would make tough demands at Monday's summit.

"The first three steps that President Zelensky will take at a meeting in Paris: the terms and conditions of the return of captured Ukrainians; a real, not fake, ceasefire; and, of course, the withdrawal of foreign troops and bandit formations from the territory of Donbass," Mendel wrote on Facebook, using a term for Ukraine's eastern regions.

Local elections may be held after border control is returned and "when there are no foreign troops and illegal armed groups" in the area, she wrote.


More Related News

The Russian vaccine is terrifying
The Russian vaccine is terrifying
  • World
  • 2020-08-11 18:05:00Z

Vladimir Putin announced that Russia is releasing a rushed COVID-19 vaccine, but the treatment has not undergone typical safety trials.

'It's risky': Russians are divided about its poorly-tested new COVID-19 vaccine, with some convinced it will work while others worried about side effects
  • World
  • 2020-08-11 16:55:13Z

President Putin just announced that Russia approved a COVID-19 vaccine for mass production. Insider asked people in the country if they would take it.

Russia Doesn
Russia Doesn't Really Know Whether Its Covid Vaccine Works
  • World
  • 2020-08-11 14:50:02Z

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Russia is prematurely declaring victory in the race for a vaccine against Covid-19, with potentially dangerous consequences for the Russian population.President Vladimir Putin says his government has approved a vaccine and will start inoculating teachers and medical workers this month, before embarking on a mass vaccination effort in the fall. Yet the shot is not backed by evidence from a complete phase 3 trial, the gold standard for confirming safety and efficacy. Deciding to move ahead without this proof stands to hamper rather than help Russia's Covid-19 response."It works effectively enough, forms a stable immunity and, I repeat, it has gone through all...

Russia declares itself
Russia declares itself 'first' to develop coronavirus vaccine
  • World
  • 2020-08-11 14:47:21Z

Russia on Tuesday declared itself the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine with President Vladimir Putin saying one of his daughters had been inoculated. The World Health Organization said any WHO stamp of approval on a COVID-19 vaccine candidate would require a rigorous safety data review. The president said one of his daughters had been inoculated with the vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya research institute in coordination with the Russian defence ministry and other government bodies.

Russia claims first coronavirus vaccine as global cases top 20 million
Russia claims first coronavirus vaccine as global cases top 20 million
  • World
  • 2020-08-11 14:28:20Z

Russia claimed Tuesday it has developed the world's first vaccine offering "sustainable immunity" against the coronavirus, as the pandemic marked another bleak milestone with 20 million infections globally. Western scientists have raised concerns about the speed with which Russia has developed vaccines, suggesting that researchers might be cutting corners. "I know that it is quite effective, that it gives sustainable immunity," Putin said of the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya research institute in coordination with Moscow's defence ministry.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: US