Russian President Vladimir Putin’s army [sic] and air force [also sic] are repeatedly and routinely bombarding civilian urban areas, hospitals, and schools, and the barbarians he employs as “soldiers” routinely rape and murder captured women and children and torture and murder captured men.
Putin does this especially hard right before his teams engage in “talks” with Ukrainian peace negotiators. Putin also flatly denies his barbarians do this at all.
Mr. Putin spoke Monday with the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, asserting—contrary to evidence of deadly Russian attacks on civilians in Ukraine—that the Russian military was taking steps to save civilian lives, and accusing Kyiv of obstructing those efforts, according to the Kremlin’s account of the phone call.
As Russia continued to erase the line between military and civilian targets, Russian forces shot and killed Yuri Prylypko, the head of the village council in Hostomel, outside Kyiv, and two people who were helping him distribute food and medicine, according to the council’s Facebook page. Hostomel was the site of fierce fighting in the war’s early days.
In Kharkiv, near the Russian border, Russia intensified attacks on civilian targets, pressing to subdue a city, Ukraine’s second largest, that remains in Ukrainian control after days of fierce bombardment.
And so on.
Which raises the question: what is the value of engaging in talks of any sort with anyone in the Russian government, much less peace talks for Ukraine?
One is as critical as it might seem to be trivial: to get Putin’s lies, and those of his teams he sends out to pretend to negotiate, about his crimes on the record alongside his crimes.