- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

Putin Sets Conditions for Ukraine Peace Talks: Full Ukrainian Withdrawal From New Russian Regions

© Sputnik / Sergey Bobylev / Go to the mediabankVladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.06.2024
Russia is ready to begin negotiations with Ukraine at any moment, but on one condition, President Vladimir Putin has said.
Russia today presents yet another concrete peace proposal for resolving the conflict in Ukraine. However, if the West and Kiev reject this offer as they have before, the responsibility for continued bloodshed will rest on them, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated at a meeting with top diplomats at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow.

"Today, we make another specific, real peace proposal. If Kiev and the Western capitals refuse it, as they have previously, then ultimately, it is their matter. Their political and moral responsibility for the continuation of bloodshed," he said.

But for this to happen, Ukrainian forces must withdraw from the entire territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.
"Ukrainian troops must fully withdraw from Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions – specifically from the entire territory of these regions within their administrative borders as they existed when they joined Ukraine. Once Kiev announces its readiness for this and begins the actual withdrawal of troops from these regions, as well as formally renounces plans to join NATO, we will immediately cease fire and start negotiations," said the head of state.
Vladimir Putin speaks at the Russian Foreign Ministry meeting - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.06.2024
No Country Immune From NATO Attack, Putin Warns
Additionally, Russia requires Ukraine to adopt a neutral, non-aligned, and non-nuclear status for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
"Our fundamental position is as follows: a neutral, non-aligned, non-nuclear status for Ukraine, along with its demilitarization and de-Nazification. These parameters were broadly agreed upon during the Istanbul negotiations in 2022," he said.
Putin emphasized that Russia is prepared to enter negotiations with Ukraine as soon as possible, acknowledging the complexities involved: "We are ready to sit at the negotiation table tomorrow, fully aware of the unique legal circumstances. Despite these, there are legitimate authorities, even according to their constitution, with whom we can negotiate."
US President Joe Biden and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.06.2024
Ukraine Rejected Path to Peace on Western Orders, Putin Reveals
However, Putin noted that the presidential term of Volodymyr Zelensky has ended, and his legitimacy cannot be restored by any means: "The presidential term of the previously elected head of Ukraine has expired, along with his legitimacy, which cannot be reinstated by any stratagems."
According to Putin, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) remains the only legitimate authority in the country, unlike Ukraine's executive power. He added that the cancelation of elections reflects the nature of the current regime in Kiev, with its attempts to cling to power being prohibited by the Ukrainian Constitution.
"The situation with the cancelation of elections is a reflection of the very nature of the Kiev regime, which has its roots in the 2014 armed coup and is intertwined with it. The fact that, by canceling elections, they continue to cling to power – these actions are prohibited by Article 5 of the Ukrainian Constitution," Putin declared.
He also claimed that there is an ongoing attempt to usurp power in Ukraine: "The current tragic chapter in Ukraine's history began with the violent seizure of power, the unconstitutional coup in 2014. The source of power of the current Kiev regime is the armed coup, and now the circle has closed: executive power in Ukraine is once again, as in 2014, usurped and held unlawfully."
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