“After the attack of occupation forces on Ukrainian positions and the death of four Ukrainian servicemen, President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy called his Russian counterpart and asked him to ‘influence the other side.’ It’s time for the Ukrainian president to wake up and give up his dangerous illusion. There is no ‘other side’ – this is a fabrication of the Kremlin’s propaganda.
“There is only Putin. It is his armies and special services that are occupying the Donbas. It is he, as the commander-in-chief of the Russian armed forces, who is responsible for any escalation in the occupied territory. Putin doesn’t influence ‘the other side’ – he gives it commands. He is not a mediator but a party to the conflict. And when Zelenskyy asks Putin to influence the Russian side, he is removing him from responsibility, turning an occupier into a ‘parliamentarian.’ This is what Putin needs to continue the war.
“Putin does not need any steps towards peace. He didn’t start the war in order to end it peacefully. He started the war so that the war would end with Ukraine’s defeat. Our destruction. Today the war doesn’t hinder Putin, it only helps Putin. It helps him keep Ukraine on the hook, to feel himself an influential leader, to have negotiations with the West. Why would Putin need peace?
“Volodymyr Zelenskyy, you are no longer a candidate in an election campaign. You are the president of a country that finds itself at war with a brutal aggressor. And the rulers of that aggressor don’t want peace. Your inability to understand this basic fact will only lead to more victims and more losses – of both people and territories.”
– Vitaliy Portnikov, wring on espresso.tv on August 7 in a post titled “Time for Zelenskyy to wake up” (translation from the original Ukrainian by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Daily Briefing).