The withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine by the end of the year is not a matter of question; it's an absolutely unlikely scenario, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.
At the same time, Peskov stressed that to achieve peace, it is necessary to accept the new realities, meaning the annexation of Ukrainian regions by Russia.
"The Ukrainian side needs to consider the realities that have developed on the ground," Putin's spokesman told reporters on Tuesday, Dec. 13. "These realities show that the Russian Federation has new territories," he added, stating that without taking into account new realities, any progress was impossible.
Zelensky urged Russia to begin withdrawing troops from Ukraine by Christmas.
Addressing G7 nations on Monday, Dec. 12, Volodymyr Zelensky urged Russia to prove it can renounce aggression by withdrawing troops from Ukraine at Christmas.
"This is the time for normal people to think about peace, not aggression. If Russia withdraws its troops from Ukraine, it will ensure a lasting cessation of hostilities."
Zelensky also called for more weapons for Ukraine as well as for more financial help.
Kremlin's latest setback
Moscow claims to have annexed four southern and eastern Ukrainian regions, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson, even though it hasn't managed to take full control over these territories.
Therefore, the statement seemed far-fetched, given that in November, the Armed Forces of Ukraine recaptured the city of Kherson, pushing Russian troops to the left bank of the Dnipro river.
Kherson was the only regional capital to fall to Russian troops after Putin announced Moscow’s so-called special military operation in Ukraine.
Commenting on that major setback of the Russian army back in November, the Kremlin stated that the city of Kherson was still part of Russia even though Moscow announced its troops were retreating as Ukrainian troops advanced.
“This is a subject of the Russian Federation. There are no changes in this and there cannot be changes,” Peskov told reporters on Nov. 10.
Asked by reporters whether Russia now regretted annexing Kherson, Peskov said the Kremlin had no regrets about the move.
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