Russia intensified its offensive in Ukraine on Saturday, announcing the use of hypersonic missiles for the first time, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared that it was time for Moscow to agree to “talk” seriously about peace.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the previous day it had used hypersonic missiles “Kinzhal” to destroy an underground weapons depot in western Ukraine, which is unprecedented, according to the official news agency RIA Novosti. According to Moscow, this type of missile challenges all air defense systems.
Russia has never reported the use of this ballistic missile in either of the two conflicts in which it is involved – Ukraine and Syria.
In turn, President Zelensky considered that “peace and security negotiations in Ukraine are the only opportunity for Russia to reduce the damage caused by its mistakes.”
“Time to meet. Time to talk. Time to restore territorial integrity and justice to Ukraine,” the head of state repeated in a video clip filmed at night on a deserted street in Kyiv and posted on Facebook.
“Otherwise, the losses that Russia will incur will be such that it will take several generations to recover.”
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Kyiv and Moscow have held several rounds of negotiations, both in person and by videoconference. The fourth round began on Monday.
On Friday night, the head of the Russian delegation spoke of a “compromise” of positions on the issue of Ukraine’s neutral status – like Sweden and Austria – and progress in the country’s disarmament. However, he also said there were “nuances” to the discussion about the “security guarantees” that Ukraine would require.
A member of the Ukrainian delegation, presidential advisor Mikhailo Podolak, warned that “the statements of the Russian side are only the beginning of their demands.”
“Our position has not changed: ceasefire, withdrawal of (Russian) forces and strong security guarantees in concrete terms,” he wrote on Twitter.
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