Kremlin Denies Claims Russian Authorities Want to Assassinate Zelenskyy

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Russia has no plans to kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy or remove him from office, said a top Kremlin spokesman on Wednesday.

Speaking to state-run media, spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to a question about whether Russia wants Zelenskyy dead: “No, this is not true.” He added that Russian authorities “have never talked about the occupation of Ukraine.”

Zelenskyy “is the president of Ukraine,” Peskov said, while adding that Russia wants him to agree to demands that have been proposed during peace talks. “Through those talks we want to put an end to the military operation,” Peskov said, according to state-run media.

The last time the two sides met face-to-face for negotiations occurred about a week ago in Istanbul, Turkey.

But it comes as Western leaders continued to say that Russian forces have committed war crimes in Bucha, near Kyiv, coming days after Ukrainian officials made the allegations.

“When you look at what’s happening in Bucha, the revelations that we are seeing from what [Russia] has done in Ukraine, which doesn’t look far short of genocide to me, it is no wonder that people are responding in the way that they are,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters on Wednesday.

“And I have no doubt that the international community, Britain very much in the front rank, will be moving again in lockstep to impose more sanctions,” Johnson said.

Russian government officials have categorically denied that Russian troops carried out atrocities in Bucha, claiming that videos and pictures that emerged last week were staged as a provocation.

“These terrible, criminal fake [images] were published in order to justify another pre-arranged sanctions package, including a large-scale expulsion of diplomats from different countries,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. “And also of course in order to complicate, if not completely disrupt, [peace] talks.”

The White House said it and its allies would target Russian banks and officials with new sanctions on Wednesday and ban new investment in Russia, and the head of the European Commission signaled further sanctions—including examining energy imports—on top of ones unveiled by the bloc on Tuesday.

Zelenskyy, for his part, gave an address to the U.N. Security Council and demanded Russia be removed as a permanent member. He also questioned what role the Security Council, which includes China and the United States as members, even plays.

“It is obvious that the key institution of the world designed to combat aggression and ensure peace cannot work effectively,” he said.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to remind you of Article 1, Chapter 1 of the UN Charter. What is the purpose of our organization? Its purpose is to maintain and make sure that peace is adhered to. And now the UN charter is violated literally starting with Article 1. And so what is the point of all other Articles?” he asked.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Jack Phillips

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Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.



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