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Putin lies about invasion, children abductions to visiting delegation of African leaders

by The Kyiv Independent news desk June 17, 2023 8:56 PM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his meeting with African leaders at the Konstantin Palace in Strelna on June 17, 2023, in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin falsely told a visiting delegation of African leaders that international rights are on his side, and it is Kyiv that started a war against Russia in 2014.    

Putin said that Russia's logic — supporting proxy occupation zones Moscow claims are independent breakaway states — is "flawless from the point of view of international rights and the UN Charter."  

In fact, Russia violated international law when it invaded Ukraine's Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts in 2014 and followed up with a much larger invasion of the entire country in 2022.

Putin's argument that Russia had the right to recognize the independence of the "breakaway regions" dashes against his country's attempt to annex these territories and absorb them into itself through fake referendums in the fall of 2022.    

Putin also claimed that Russia's forcible abduction of Ukrainian children was legal. The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Putin, as well as Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian official overseeing the forced deportations of Ukrainian children to Russia, for these abductions.    

According to the Ukrainian national database, about 19,500 Ukrainian children have been abducted from the occupied territories and sent to other Russian-controlled areas or Russia since February 2022.

The delegation, consisting of the leaders of South Africa, Senegal, the Comoros Islands, Zambia, and Egypt, visited Kyiv on June 16 for talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky, after which they proceeded to St. Petersburg to discuss the African states' attempt at a peace plan between Ukraine and Russia.  

Zelensky's office adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said the African leaders' plan mostly focused on trying to suspend Putin's arrest warrant as a sign of trust.

Zelensky criticized the African leaders for referring to the full-scale invasion in diminished terms like "crisis" or "conflict."

Ukraine war latest: Russia attacks Kyiv with Kinzhal missiles as African leaders visit the capital
Key developments on June 16: * Zelensky says no peace talks with Putin until Russian troops withdraw from Ukraine * Russia launches missiles at Kyiv during African leaders’ visit * Russian attack on Kherson injures 23, including 3 children * Ukrainian forces advance south as counteroffensive co…
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