Despite all the crimes committed by the Russian army against civilians in the suburbs of Kyiv, Ukraine must continue negotiations with the Russian Federation, as other Ukrainian cities are under occupation, where civilians are also blocked. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an interview for the Ukrainian media.
The Head of State noted that after exposing the crimes of the occupiers in Bucha, Irpin and other towns in the Kyiv region and realizing the scale of the tragedy, both Ukrainian authorities and citizens will see as a challenge even the possibility of negotiations with the aggressor, not to mention their content.
"Everyone understands that what they did is unforgivable. We need to know that," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
Nevertheless, according to the President, it is necessary to find strength and continue negotiations.
"Every such tragedy, every such Bucha will just make it harder as regards any negotiations. And here we still need to find opportunities for such steps. We want to have a stronger position at these talks," he said, noting that the support of Ukrainian society, which is also a powerful weapon, is important here.
According to the Head of State, the authorities should take into account not only the positions of the Armed Forces, but also those people who were blocked in places of active hostilities and temporarily occupied settlements. Then there will be no question of whether someone wants negotiations or not - the question of their necessity and the strength of the parties at the negotiating table arises.
"Just saying today that we will not talk about anything anymore is the easiest position. The easiest thing to say is that I will not talk to you, and it is clear why, after what you have done. The most difficult thing is to say what they did, to recognize them as enemies, to know that this is specifically Russia's war against Ukraine. Admit it all. We believe that this is genocide, we believe that they must all be punished. But we have to find opportunities to meet. And at the meeting to find a way out of this situation and at the same time not to lose our territory," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
Regarding the prosecution of all those involved in crimes against civilians in Ukraine, the President assured that the state is already working on it.
"We will definitely do that. Relevant lists will be compiled. We live in a civilized world, and therefore there is an order that will be ensured in accordance with law and international law. The day before yesterday, we agreed to set up a joint commission with the European Union," the President said.
He said that he had discussed this issue with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, whose visit to Kyiv is expected in the near future.
"Prosecutors of different states, a joint commission will deal with all these crimes. There is a separate case of ours against these criminals who tortured our people. We are starting to gather this information. We will look for all these people," Volodymyr Zelenskyy added.
To clarify how Ukraine will ensure that the killers are prosecuted, the President said that the commission has already been established, the Prosecutor General and a representative of the President's Office will join its work.
"I do not see any more mechanisms. I believe that the internal Ukrainian mechanism, which my colleagues and I started talking about, will be very effective, because there are people who really want to find these criminals. I think we will find the right format. If international law does not resolve this issue, Ukrainian law will find a way out of this difficult situation, of this tragedy," he said.
The Head of State also predicts that the amount of evidence and testimony about crimes committed by the Russian army against civilians will increase, as the liberation of other temporarily occupied cities of Ukraine is ahead.
"There will be no fewer of them, because Izyum is still ahead, there are many things we have no access to. Occupied Melitopol, Berdyansk. We have no idea what happened there. We’ll find this procedure. There will be an action plan. There are no secrets here, because we openly say: we will do it. It doesn't make sense to keep secret how we will find these people," Volodymyr Zelenskyy summed up.