The Current

War with Russia could be inherited by our children, warns Ukrainian MP

Inna Sovsun, a member of Ukraine's parliament, says she doesn't trust any promises that Russia is making in peace talks.

Inna Sovsun doesn't trust Russia, says forces must be 'kicked out of our country'

A destroyed church is seen on the front line near Kyiv, in a picture taken Tuesday. (Gleb Garanich/Reuters)

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The Kremlin is not to be trusted when it comes to peace talks aimed at finding a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine, says a member of Ukraine's parliament. 

"I do not trust any deals that we can make with them, and I am afraid that any deal that can potentially be achieved right now will just freeze this conflict," said Inna Sovsun, who is also deputy head of the pro-European Holos Party. 

Sovsun said such a "freeze," where Russia withdrew but nothing else changed, would leave Ukrainians living under the threat of a fresh invasion for years to come. 

"That is something that I truly do not want. I do not want my son to inherit this war for his lifetime," she told The Current's Matt Galloway.

Fighting has continued during the latest round of talks between the countries, held in Istanbul this week. 

WATCH | Face-to-face talks between Russia and Ukraine in Turkey

Face-to-face talks between Russia and Ukraine delegations begin in Turkey

4 months ago
Duration 9:12
Representatives from Ukraine and Russia are meeting in Istanbul in the first face-to-face peace talks in more than two weeks. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he hopes the talks lay the groundwork for a summit of the countries' presidents.

Russia announced Tuesday it will significantly scale back military operations near Ukraine's capital, Kyiv; and Ukraine's delegation outlined a framework by which the country would remain neutral, not hosting foreign armies or joining NATO.

But Sovsun said the Russian shelling of Ukrainian cities continued that night.

"That just says it all about whether they're serious about building trust," she said.

Russian forces did pull back Wednesday, but Sovsun fears that withdrawal is merely an effort to regroup and shore up a foothold in Ukraine's Donbas region, before attacking Kyiv again.

"They need to be kicked out of our country, and I do not believe that we can do that in any diplomatic effort, unfortunately," she said.

"The best diplomacy efforts are being done by the Ukrainian army right now."

The interior of a building destroyed near Kyiv, on Tuesday. (Gleb Garanich/Reuters)

Ukraine needs 'rock solid guarantees'

Sovsun is right that the international community is "not entirely certain that Russia is negotiating very seriously," said Dr. Jenny Mathers, a senior lecturer in the department of international politics at Aberystwyth University in Wales.

"I think it's going to take a lot for the Ukrainians to believe in the things that the Russians are saying," said Mathers.

"The Russians are going to really have to back up their words with actions."

As part of Ukraine's framework for neutrality, the country's security would be guaranteed through treaties with Western allies, including Canada.

But Sovsun said the idea has not been met with clear promises from those allies about putting troops on the ground to directly intervene in future attacks.

"Who will be willing to fight together with us if we are attacked again by Russia? That is something that we are not hearing," she said.

WATCH | Ukrainian MP sees no sign of hope in Russia-Ukraine peace talks

Ukrainian MP sees no sign of hope in Russia-Ukraine peace talks

4 months ago
Duration 3:41
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, a member of Parliament in Ukraine, says she’s not convinced the latest round of peace talks with Russia will resolve the war and believes the Kremlin is using the negotiations as a ‘smokescreen’ to regroup and rearm their troops.

Mathers agreed that Ukraine would need "rock solid guarantees," but added that hopefully such a guarantee "would be strong enough that it would deter the Russians from ever trying to do this again."

The longer the conflict goes on, the more consolidated views on both sides will become, Mather warned. 

"A lack of trust will only get worse; the hatred will only get worse. The war atrocities, unfortunately, are likely only to get worse — it's a very difficult spiral to come out of," she said.

She said international bodies can help to facilitate discussions, but ultimately, "the momentum really has to come from Russia and Ukraine."


Written by Padraig Moran. Produced by Glory Omotayo and Paul MacInnis.

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