Putin defends invasion of Ukraine in meeting with UN Secretary-General 2022-04-27 04:15:28

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Russian President Vladimir Putin took a defiant tone in a televised meeting with Antonio Guterres Tuesday, showing little interest in the United Nations Secretary-General’s proposal on the role of the United Nations in helping civilians flee the war in Ukraine.

The Big Picture: Guterres said that while “we believe there is an invasion of Ukraine’s territory, it has arrived in Moscow in a pragmatic fashion.” Guterres, who will visit Kyiv later this week, said his “main task” was to improve the humanitarian situation.

  • Zelensky’s advisor Sunday said Guterres’ trip to Moscow “wasn’t a good idea”, as Putin had shown no interest in serious peace talks.

Scene mode: The long table that Putin was famous for hosting a string of world leaders before the invasion was back on Tuesday, meaning the two faced each other from a distance.

what are they saying: Putin praised the United Nations as an institution but criticized the actions its members have taken to challenge Russia. He then spent several minutes presenting his own version of the events that led to Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine.

  • He said he still hoped for a “diplomatic outcome” in Ukraine, and claimed that real breakthroughs in negotiations had been derailed by what he described as a “provocation” in Bucha, a Kyiv suburb where dozens of Ukrainian civilians were killed. Contrary to the accounts of witnesses and journalists, Putin indicated that the massacres were committed by the Ukrainians themselves.

Guterres referred to these attempts He largely failed to establish humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians.

  • Ukraine says Russia has bombed those corridors and used its own evacuation routes to bring Ukrainian civilians into Russia against their will.
  • Guterres said he would not work for Ukraine and Russia to operate separate corridors, and that a “humanitarian liaison group” – with representation from the United Nations, Ukraine and Russia – was needed “so no one would have an excuse to sabotage those corridors.”
  • Guterres focused particularly on Mariupol. He said the United Nations hopes to work with the Red Cross to get civilians out, including from the besieged steel mill in the city.

Putin intervened to overturn Guterres. Attention to Kosovo, trying to provide a legal justification for the Russian offensive in the eastern Donbass region.

  • Noting that Kosovo had declared independence in 2008 without consulting Serbia, Putin asked Guterres if he agreed that this would set a precedent for the “republics” of Donbass to declare independence without Kyiv’s permission, and for them to be recognized by Moscow (as many Western countries have recognized). in Kosovo). ).
  • Guterres noted that the United Nations did not recognize Kosovo, but Putin ignored this and returned to Mariupol.
  • He said military operations there had ended and denied that humanitarian corridors were not working (Ukraine says Russia continues to launch strikes in Mariupol and refuses to allow civilians to leave the city). He also accused Ukrainian forces inside the steel plant of using civilians as “human shields”.

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