Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said Ukraine wanted direct talks between President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Russia’s Vladimir Putin because Kyiv knows Putin is the person calling the shots in Moscow.
“We have long wanted a direct conversation between the president of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin, because we all understand that it is he who makes the final decisions, especially now,” he said in a live television broadcast on Monday evening.
“Our president is not scared of anything, including a direct meeting with Putin,” Kuleba added. “If Putin is also not scared, let him come to the meeting, let them sit down and talk.”
At the same time, Ukraine‘s military intelligence said on Tuesday that Ukrainian forces have killed a Russian general near the besieged city of Kharkiv, the second Russian senior commander to die in the invasion.
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army, was killed on Monday, the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine‘s defence ministry said in a statement.
Russia’s defence ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.
Another Russian general, Andrei Sukhovetsky, also a deputy commander of the 41st army, was reported killed at the end of February.
Ukraine says its forces have killed more than 11,000 Russian troops. Russia has confirmed about 500 losses.
Neither side has disclosed Ukrainian casualties.