Russia Says Ukraine Can Decide to Meet Its Demands or Else Russian Army Will Decide


Volodymyr, 61, and Nataliia Bolias, 51, walk past an industrial building that received a missile strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, during intense shelling on Christmas Day at the frontline in Bakhmut, Ukraine, Dec. 25, 2022.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told state media it is up to the Ukrainian government to determine how long the fighting in Ukraine will go on.

Russia launched the conflict with an invasion of its neighbor 10 months ago, and the Tass news agency quoted Lavrov saying Ukraine «can stop senseless resistance at any moment.»

Lavrov said Ukraine knows Russia’s proposals for «the demilitarization and denazification» of Ukrainian territory and the elimination of threats to Russia from Ukraine, including four areas that Russia has claimed to annex. The international community resoundingly rejected those annexation claims involving Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

Lavrov added that if Ukraine does not meet Russia’s demands, «the issue will be decided by the Russian army.»

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Russia can stop the war it began at any time by withdrawing its troops and restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty, freedom and territorial integrity.

«Neither total mobilization, nor panicky search for ammo, nor secret contracts with Iran, nor Lavrov’s threats will help,» Zelenskyy aide Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted Tuesday. «Russia needs to face the reality. Ukraine will demilitarize the RF to the end, oust the invaders from all occupied territories.»

In his nightly video address Monday, Zelenskyy addressed the difficult situation on the front lines of Bakhmut, Kreminna and other areas in the Donbas region, which as he said, «require maximum strength and concentration.»

He said the Russians are using all the resources available to them «to squeeze out at least some advance.»

Zelenskyy thanked Ukrainian forces who «hold their positions firmly, stand strong, and who nevertheless find opportunities not only to not lose anything, but also to drive the occupiers out, to ‘subtract’ them.»

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Dahiana Camilo