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Zelensky says he's not sure Putin 'still alive'

by The Kyiv Independent news desk January 19, 2023 11:50 AM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky.
This audio is created with AI assistance

During his online address at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 19, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he was not "entirely sure" that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is still alive and makes decisions in Russia.

"I don't quite understand who to talk to and about what. I'm not sure that Russia's president, who sometimes appears against the chroma key is really him," Zelensky responded when asked about the possibility of peace talks.

The chroma key that Zelensky referenced is a visual effects technique used to alter the background around the subject of a video. Some believe that Putin has been using it for his televised public engagements, to appear like he is visiting places while actually staying in safety.

Zelensky emphasized that Ukraine did everything to liberate its territories through diplomacy, but it hasn't worked out.

"Peace negotiations are not yet peace. It should be recognized by both sides," said the president.

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Ukraine's president repeatedly called on partners to provide the country with more military equipment, adding that Ukrainian air defense remains a weak spot with another series of Russian drone attacks likely to be launched soon.

"There are moments when there is no need to hesitate. When people say, 'I'll give you tanks if someone else does,'" Zelensky said, cited by CNN.

At the "Ukrainian Breakfast" session panel, Zelensky again confirmed that Ukraine aims to liberate the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula.

"Crimea is our sea and our mountains. Give us your weapons, and we will regain ours," Ukraine's president said, according to CNN.

Russia invaded and occupied Crimea in February 2014 during the EuroMaidan Revolution that ousted pro-Russian ex-President Viktor Yanukovych. The peninsula houses Russia's Black Sea Fleet and tens of thousands of Russian troops.

Amid Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to retake the peninsula. Ukraine has also targeted Russian air and military bases in Crimea to hamper Russia's war effort.

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