Surprisingly peaceful Putin at G20: Expresses the need to contemplate ways to end the conflict in Ukraine

Written by Henrik Rothen

Nov.22 - 2023 6:55 PM CET

Putin expresses the need to contemplate ways to end the conflict in Ukraine.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed the need to contemplate ways to end the conflict in Ukraine, marking one of his most conciliatory statements about the war to date. This happened in a speech to the leaders of the Group of Twenty (G20) on Wednesday.

Putin's deployment of troops into Ukraine in February 2022 ignited the most severe conflict in Europe since World War II and escalated tensions between Russia and Western nations to a level not seen since the Cold War era.

During his first address to the G20 since the war's inception, Putin acknowledged the shock expressed by some leaders over Russia's ongoing "aggression" in Ukraine. This is reported by Reuters.

He emphasized the tragic nature of military actions and stated that Russia has always been open to peace talks with Ukraine. This statement stands in contrast to his previous, more aggressive rhetoric, particularly against the United States.

The conflict, which began in February 2022, has resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties, displaced millions, and caused extensive destruction in southern and eastern Ukraine. Notably, Putin referred to the situation as a "war," deviating from the Kremlin's usual terminology of a "special military operation."

Questioning the global response

Putin also highlighted the persecution of people in eastern Ukraine and referenced the conflict that began in 2014 following the Maidan Revolution and Russia's annexation of Crimea. He questioned the global response to the civilian casualties in Palestine, particularly in the Gaza Strip, and criticized the lack of attention to the suffering there.

Putin's last in-person attendance at a G20 meeting was in Osaka, Japan, in 2019.

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