Zelensky: a ceasefire in Ukraine "will not lead to peace"

A ceasefire in Ukraine "will not lead to peace," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Pope Francis' special envoy, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, during a visit to kyiv.

“The head of state stressed that the ceasefire and freezing of the conflict will not lead to the establishment of peace,” the Ukrainian presidency said in a statement, while Zelensky called on the Vatican to “contribute to the implementation of the plan of Ukrainian peace”, which consists of recovering all the occupied territories, indicated the same source.

"The enemy would take advantage of a pause to reinforce its capabilities and launch another offensive," Zelensky said in his meeting with Cardinal Zuppi, before whom he warned that this situation would bring with it "a new wave of crimes and terrorism" by Russia.

Zelensky insisted that "Russia must withdraw with all its troops from the internationally recognized Ukrainian borders," according to the statement about the meeting published by kyiv.

“Only joint efforts, diplomatic isolation and pressure on Russia can sway the aggressor and bring a just peace to Ukrainian soil,” he added.

"The president pointed out that the Holy See can effectively contribute to the release of Ukrainian prisoners, the return of deported children and the restoration of justice," the report added.

Zelensky also condemned the destruction of the New Kakhovka hydroelectric power station. (South), which has caused a natural and humanitarian catastrophe and is forcing the evacuation of thousands of people.

Cardinal Zuppi's visit to Kiev comes as Ukrainian forces have carried out a series of "offensive actions" in recent days, claiming territorial gains near the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut. Russia claims that it foiled all these attacks.

The Russian invasion has lasted more than 15 months and all peace initiatives seem doomed to failure.

Keep reading:
• The Russian activist who documents the war dead by counting graves and was forced to flee the country
• Russia and Ukraine: the huge losses of the elite regiment that Moscow sent to advance towards kyiv
• War in Ukraine in graphs: how the conflict has changed since the start of the Russian invasion a year ago

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