Ukraine’s Zelenskyy says he’s not sure if Putin still alive

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Thursday that he does not know whether his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin is still alive.

“I do not fully understand whether he (Putin) is alive. Is he the one who makes the decisions, or someone else, a certain group of people. I have no information. I don't quite understand how you can promise European leaders one thing and the next day start a full-scale invasion of another country. I don't quite understand who we are dealing with," Zelenskyy said during an online speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, according to a statement by the Ukrainian presidency.

Noting that his country needs air defense systems from its partners to protect civilian facilities and energy infrastructure from attacks by "enemy missiles and drones," Zelenskyy said foreign partner countries should not hesitate with the provision of military assistance to Ukraine.

He said the Ukrainian forces should receive weapons that can operate at a greater distance, and allow it to advance further on the front line.

About possible negotiations to end the war that began last February, the Ukrainian leader said it is unclear with whom in Russia he should negotiate and on what issues.

“It seems to me that Russia must find someone first and then offer something," he said.

Last October, Zelenskyy had signed a decree refusing any negotiations with Putin, after the Russian parliament ratified agreements on annexing Ukraine's Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions, which have been widely rejected by the international community.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday said Zelenskyy's statement was "understandable" because for Kyiv it would be "psychologically more comfortable if neither Russia nor Putin existed."

Source: Anadolu Agency