Putin slams Ukraine's flagrant violation of int'l law
Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses Ukrainian forces of carrying out extrajudicial executions of "dissenters" and using civilians as human shields.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced on Saturday what he called the Ukrainian forces' "flagrant violation" of international humanitarian law, in phone talks he held with the French and German presidents, the Kremlin said.
"Putin informed (them) about the real state of affairs" in Ukraine, his office said in a statement, adding that "in particular, numerous examples of the flagrant violation of the norms of international humanitarian law by Ukrainian security forces were cited."
The Ukrainian army, according to the Russian President, is carrying out extrajudicial executions of "dissenters", taking hostages and using civilians as human shields, the Kremlin said.
"At the same time, nationalist battalions are systematically disrupting operations to rescue the population, intimidating civilians during evacuation attempts," the Kremlin added.
During the phone talks, Putin called on French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Olaf Scholz to put pressure on the authorities of Kiev to stop these "criminal activities", the Kremlin said.
Putin also informed Macron and Scholz about talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators, without giving any further details.
"In this connection, the leaders of the three countries addressed some issues related to the agreements being worked out on the implementation of well-known Russian demands."
Kremlin ready for talks with Ukraine in Belarus, Zelensky refuses
Earlier in late February, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated that Russia was ready for talks with Ukraine, after a Russian delegation arrived in Belarus.
However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded that Belarus cannot be the platform for talks with Russia and suggested Budapest, Warsaw, or Istanbul, despite the Kremlin's statement that a Russian delegation had already arrived in Belarus.
In response, the Russian President criticized the Ukrainian authority for wasting an opportunity to conduct a dialogue.
Earlier today, Putin said there were certain positive shifts in talks with Ukraine.