Putin claims Russia is ready to negotiate; Ukraine accuses the Kremlin of evading responsibility

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed in an interview with state television on Sunday that Moscow wants to negotiate despite rocket fire hitting Ukrainian cities over the Christmas weekend.

“We are ready to negotiate acceptable solutions with all parties involved, but that’s up to them – it’s not us who refuse to negotiate, it’s them,” Putin said.

The claim was dismissed by Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who said that “Putin needs to get back to reality”.

“Russia single-handedly attacked Ukraine, killing citizens. There are no other ‘countries, motives, geopolitics,'” Podolyak tweeted. “Russia does not want negotiations, but is trying to avoid responsibility.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, attends the Victory Day military parade marking the 77th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 9, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, attends the Victory Day military parade marking the 77th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 9, 2022.
(Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Cherson, which was taken over by Russia in the early days of the invasion but liberated by Ukrainian forces last month, was bombed on Christmas Eve, killing at least 10 people and injuring dozens more.

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Other Ukrainian cities and the country’s energy infrastructure have also been hit by shells in recent months.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, arrives during a joint session of Congress at the US Capitol on Dec. 21, 2022.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, arrives during a joint session of Congress at the US Capitol on Dec. 21, 2022.
(Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Zelenskyy, addressing the US Congress during a visit to Washington DC this week, urged Ukrainians to watch out for air alerts in the coming days.

“We have only a few days left this year. We must be aware that our enemy will try to make this time dark and difficult for us,” Zelenskyy said on Christmas Day. “Russia lost everything it could this year.

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Both houses of Congress approved a $45 billion aid package for Ukraine after Zelenskyy’s visit and sent the bill to President Biden’s desk.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shared photos of a rocket attack on Christmas Eve in the city of Kherson.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shared photos of a rocket attack on Christmas Eve in the city of Kherson.
(Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy)

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Meanwhile, Putin accused the West on Sunday of wanting to break up Russia.

“Actually, this is about the policies of our geopolitical opponents aimed at pulling apart Russia, historical Russia,” Putin said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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