Putin Aide Says Kyiv Should 'Show Sobriety' And Accept Russia's Demanding Peace Deal

Vladimir Putin said he would agree to a ceasefire – if Ukraine handed over four huge areas of land.
Vladimir Putin said he would agree to a ceasefire – if Ukraine handed over four huge areas of land. VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO via Getty Images

Vladimir Putin’s aide is trying to pressure Ukraine to accept the Russian president’s eyebrow-raising peace proposal, which Kyiv rejected last week.

The Kremlin said Russia would be open to a ceasefire as long as Ukraine dropped its plans to join Nato and withdrew from all the areas Russia has occupied throughout the war.

That includes Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia – Russia occupied roughly a fifth of Ukrainian land right now.

His demand was immediately rejected across the West, while many leaders were at the Ukraine Peace Summit in Switzerland, which Russia was not invited to.

UK PM Rishi Sunak said it was clear Putin had “no real interest in a genuine peace”.

However, Russia appears to have doubled down on the proposal.

Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalist Pavel Zarubin from the state-owned VGTRK broadcaster that the Ukrainian premier should be “ready to do anything” for Ukraine.

He said: “At one time, Zelenskyy came to power under the banner of peace and the intention to establish peace, to save Ukraine.

“He always said that he did not hold on to the chair, he always said that he was ready to do anything for the sake of his Motherland.

“Let’s see if he is ready for anything so as not to further worsen the situation.”

Peskov claimed that “every time Putin voices peace initiatives and when attempts are made to enter the political and diplomatic channel, there are certain conditions on the ground, each time they worsen for Ukraine.”

But, he then suggested Zelenskyy is not a legitimate authority now in Ukraine – an angle the Kremlin keeps trying to use to discredit the president.

A presidential election was meant to be held in late March this year, but the country has been under martial law since Russia invaded in 2022.

The election has therefore been postponed – a fact Moscow has tried to use this to their advantage.

Peskov claimed Zelenskyy is “not the person with whom you can record an agreement in writing, because de jure this recording will be illegitimate.”

But, according to Peskov, Putin does not reject any potential outcomes, including negotiations with “legitimate bodies”.

He suggested it was “very complex” to get an agreement, but “if the Kyiv regime shows sobriety, then this will have to be done”.