The Kremlin confirmed on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “exists” after Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelenskyy appeared to question whether he was even “still alive” when pressed to begin peace talks.
“It’s not the cinema where you wait for a movie to start,” he said Wednesday according to a live translation of his remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “It’s a great tragedy.”
“The negotiations themselves are not automatically about peace,” he added.
Zelenskyy not only pointed to the failure of diplomatic talks between Ukraine and Russia, but also to Moscow’s blatant lies to other world leaders as the invasion neared.
Ukrainian President also said that at this point he did not know who was making the decisions in the Kremlin and wondered if Putin was still functioning as the president of Russia.
“I don’t understand that he’s still alive or that he’s the one making any particular decisions,” Zelenskyy said.
It’s unclear why Zelenskyy wondered if Putin was still alive when he was seen at a World War II memorial in St. Petersburg on Wednesday.
Zelenskyy’s comments may have been a nod to the way Putin has withdrawn from public events in recent weeks, including its annual press conference which ran for around four hours in 2021 but was canceled last month.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed any suggestion that Putin was no longer there and said: “It is clear that Russia and Putin are a big problem for Ukraine and for Zelensky. And it is clear that, purely psychologically, Mr. Zelensky would prefer that neither Russia nor Putin existed.”
“But the sooner the Ukrainian regime realizes that Russia and Putin exist and will exist, that sooner or later it will still have to give up everything anti-Russian, the better for a country like Ukraine,” he added according to Russian media. RBC.