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President Volodymyr Zelensky rules out surrender, urges Vladimir Putin for talks

President Volodymyr Zelensky rules out surrender, urges Vladimir Putin for talks

New Delhi: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said it would not be possible to negotiate an end to the war in his country without a meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, media reported on Monday.

Zelensky said his country would be "destroyed" before it surrenders its cities to invading Russian forces, as he doubled down on a call for direct talks with Vladimir Putin as the key to ending the war.

"I believe that until such time as we have a meeting with the president of the Russian cannot truly understand what they are prepared to do in order to stop the war and what they are prepared to do if we are not ready for this or that compromise," Zelenskyy said in an interview cited by Interfax Ukraine.

As Russia defended overnight strikes that reduced a Kyiv shopping mall to rubble, killing eight, US President Joe Biden held a call with European leaders to address the increasingly "brutal tactics" employed by Moscow -- undeterred by unprecedented Western sanctions.

But despite a soaring civilian toll, the Ukrainian president made clear his countrymen would not "hand over" the capital, the eastern city of Kharkiv, or the heavily bombarded and besieged Mariupol.

"Ukraine cannot fulfil Russian ultimatums," he said. "We should be destroyed first."

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TAGS:Volodymyr ZelenskyUkraine russia war
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