Putin's Aide Backs Calls For Peace In Ukraine – And Issues Strange Warning Over West's 'Mistake'

It came after Pope Francis urged Kyiv to have the courage of the "white flag".
Putin and the Kremlin spokesperson Peskov
Putin and the Kremlin spokesperson Peskov

A senior Kremlin official has just spoken up in favour of Pope Francis’s recent calls for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine – while also warning the West about its “deepest mistake”.

The Pope said Ukraine should have the courage of the “white flag” to end a two-year war which has killed so many.

On Monday, the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “It is quite understandable that he [the Pope] spoke in favour of negotiations.”

But Peskov also claimed: “Unfortunately, both the statements of the Pope and the repeated statements of other parties, including ours, have recently received absolutely harsh refusals.”

It’s worth remembering that the war began when Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine two years ago under the guise of a “special military operation” to protect its own security.

He has since illegally annexed parts of Ukraine, declaring them to be Russian land.

Putin has previously accused the UK of discouraging Ukraine from peace talks at the start of the war.

Peskov added that the West should not hope for a “strategic defeat” of Russia.

“This is the deepest misconception, the deepest mistake, and the course of events, primarily on the battlefield, is the clearest evidence of this,” he said.

Russia did actually hope to overpower the whole of Ukraine very quickly at the start of the war, but Kyiv’s strength – backed with training and weapons from the West – has helped to hold Moscow’s troops off.

It’s now been more than two years since the invasion, and the war has lasted much longer than Russia ever wanted.

Ukraine did not support Pope Francis’s calls for a “white flag”.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused the Pontiff of engaging in “virtual meditation”, while his foreign minister said Kyiv would never give in.

Zelenskyy also signed a decree in 2022 ruling out talks with Putin.

Kyiv has repeatedly said it would only accept a peace deal if its borders were returned to the international recognised borders announced when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

Meanwhile, Putin’s own allies have redrawn the world map and expanded Russia’s land mass so Ukraine just has a small corner of land.

Italy’s ANSA news agency also quoted Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saying: “The way I see it, the Pope is asking the West to put aside its ambitions and admit that it was wrong.”


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