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17 Feb 2024
Kurt Zindulka

NextImg:Zelensky Suggests Regime Change and That Assassination Awaits Putin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested that assassination awaits Russian strongman Vladimir Putin while backing the “destruction of his regime” in an address to the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

Appearing before world leaders as they converged to Munich, Germany for the annual security conference, President Zelensky said that the only “two options” left for Putin, either face a war crimes trial at The Hague or be assassinated.

“One may have different attitudes towards international institutions, but the International Criminal Court’s warrant for Putin’s arrest for kidnapping and forced deportation of children from Ukraine clearly demonstrates where Putin’s so-called ‘career’ should end. He has only two options ahead – to be in the dock in The Hague, or to be killed by one of his accomplices who are now killing for him,” Zelensky said per a readout of the speech from state media Ukrinform.

Zelensky accused Putin of being the “source of wars and destabilization” and therefore the West should do “everything possible to defeat the aggressor”.

“We should not fear Putin’s defeat. Putin is a threat to all free nations. And yes, for those who still haven’t heard – Putin is the monster who invaded Ukraine and killed thousands and thousands of people and kidnapped and deported at least tens of thousands of Ukrainian children,” the Ukrainian president continued.

Zelensky also claimed that Putin “murdered another opposition leader” about the death of Russian dissident Alexy Navalny, which the Ukrainian leader suggested was Putin sending a “clear message” to Western leaders ahead of the Munich conference.

“Please, let’s not fear Putin’s defeat and the destruction of his regime. Let’s instead – work together to destroy what he stands for. It is his fate to lose, not the fate of the rules-based world order to vanish,” he said.

“If we don’t defeat Putin now, it won’t eventually matter who is the president of Russia. Because every new Russian dictator will remember how to maintain power by annexing the lands of other peoples, killing opponents, and destroying the world order. If this happens Europe and Central Asia and the whole world will be a very dark place.”

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Moscow has previously accused Kyiv of attempting to assassinate Vladimir Putin on at least two occasions, including an apparent attempt to use drones to attack the Kremlin in May of last year.

The month prior, German media claimed that Ukraine had attempted to use drones equipped with explosives to blow up Putin during a visit to a factory on the outskirts of Moscow, claims which neither the Kremlin nor Kyiv corroborated.

The main subject of Zelensky’s speech at the Munich conference was to urge Western leaders to send more weapons and ammunition to Ukraine as the war approaches its third year. Despite making almost no major gains during last year’s “Spring counteroffensive” while being heavily subsidies by American and European taxpayers, Zelensky claimed that “artificial deficits” of weapons being supplied from the West were allowing Putin to increase the intensity of his military’s attacks on Ukrainian forces.

U.S. President Joe Biden is seeking a further round of $60 billion in aid to Ukraine, however, with a lack of recent success, mounting corruption scandals, and a lack of clear objectives from the White House, House Republicans are currently attempting to block the latest aid package to Ukraine.

While this move has drawn the ire of European leaders, the EU has recently admitted that it will only be able to send half the amount of artillery shells it had committed to Ukraine by March, reinforcing criticisms of NATO delinquency in Europe made by former President Donald Trump.

Trump, who has consistently called for peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv in order to stop the bloodshed and suggested that he could end the war within 24 hours, was personally called out specifically on Saturday by Zelensky. The Ukrainian president invited Trump to visit the “front line” of the war with him, in an apparent jibe at the former president’s desire to end the war.

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