Zelensky tells Moscow it's time to negotiate peace


March 19 (UPI) -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Moscow in a Saturday video message that it's time to negotiate peace.

Zelensky called for the negotiations on peace "without delay," warning that otherwise Russian losses would be "huge," in the video message posted to his Facebook page.

"Meaningful negotiations on peace, on security for us, for Ukraine -- meaningful, fair and without delay -- are the only chance for Russia to reduce the damage from its own mistakes.

"We have always insisted on negotiations," he continued. "We have always offered dialogue, offered solutions for peace ... And I want everyone to hear me now, especially in Moscow. It's time to meet. Time to talk. It is time to restore territorial integrity and justice for Ukraine.

"Otherwise, Russia's losses will be so huge, that several generations won't be enough to rebound," Zelensky added.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has long falsely accused Ukraine of harboring neo-Nazi ideologies, made reference to those accusations when he laid out conditions for peace talks on a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday.

Erdogan offered to bring Putin and Zelensky to Turkey for peace talks, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told Turkish newspaper Hurriyet on Saturday, according to CNN.

Kalin said Zelensky was ready for the meeting, but Putin laid out some conditions.

"The first is Ukraine's neutrality, that is, its renounce from NATO membership," Kalin told Hurriyet. "Second, disarmament and mutual security guarantees in the context of the Austrian model. Third, the process that the Russian side refers to as 'de-Nazification.' Fourth, removing obstacles to the widespread use of Russian language in Ukraine. It is understood that some progress has been made in the first four articles of the ongoing negotiations. It is too early to say that there is full agreement or that an agreement is about to be signed."

Kalin added that Putin also demanded two final conditions, which were "the most difficult issues." These conditions included the recognition of the annexation of Crimea and the two "so-called" republics in Donbas.

Putin has also reinforced his control over Russian domestic media, the British Defense Ministry said in its latest intelligence update.

"The Kremlin is attempting to control the narrative, detract from operational problems and obscure high Russian casualty numbers from the Russian people," the update added.

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