Live: Russia could take ‘generations’ to recover from war — Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy calls for peace talks and demands “territorial integrity” is restored. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for comprehensive peace talks with Moscow to stop its invasion of his homeland, without delay. In a late night video message, he said if the war continued, Russia would take generations to recover from its losses.

“I want everyone to hear me now, especially in Moscow. The time has come for a meeting, it is time to talk,” he said early on Saturday. “The time has come to restore territorial integrity and justice for Ukraine. Otherwise, Russia’s losses will be such that it will take you several generations to recover.”

Zelenskyy accused Russian forces of blockading Ukraine’s largest cities to create a “humanitarian catastrophe” with the aim of persuading Ukrainians to cooperate with them. He said Russians were preventing supplies from reaching surrounded cities in the centre and southeast of the country.

“This is a totally deliberate tactic,” Zelenskyy said in his nighttime video address to the nation, filmed outside in Kyiv, with the presidential office in the lamplight behind him.

Zelenskyy also said more than 130 survivors have been rescued from the rubble of a theatre in Mariupol, which Ukrainian authorities have accused Moscow of “knowingly” bombing on Wednesday. The president said more than 1,000 people had taken shelter there. There was no confirmation of the number of possible deaths, and rescue efforts were continuing.