Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is a good comedian, but his approach to the settlement of the conflict in Donbass isn’t funny at all, Vladimir Putin said during his annual Direct Line Q&A session.
“He is a talented person,” the Russian president said of Zelensky. “I remember his performances at the KVN show. It was funny. But what we see now isn’t funny. It’s not a comedy. It’s a tragedy.”
KVN or ‘Club of the Funny and Inventive People’ is a popular live comedy show in Russia in which student teams from various regions of the country and some former Soviet states compete against each other. Putin is a fan of the program and was spotted in the audience on several occasions between 1998 and 2003 when Zelensky was a competitor.
The Russian president is concerned by his Ukrainian counterpart’s unwillingness to engage in dialogue with the self-proclaimed republics, Donetsk and Lugansk, in order to finally end the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
How is this problem going to be solved then? In modern history, there isn’t a single example of such a conflict being settled without direct dialogue between the warring parties. It’s simply impossible.
Zelensky’s profession might be a comedian, but as the head of state, “it’s up to him to solve those problems,” Putin pointed out.
He recalled that curbing the bloodshed in Donbass where the fighting has continued since 2014 was one of Zelensky’s key campaign promises, but “nothing is being done” and the shelling by Kiev continues.
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