Putin calls Zelensky illegitimate, Kremlin rejects Reuters ceasefire story

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated during a press conference on Friday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's "legitimacy" had "ended" after his official 5-year term expired on Monday. Zelensky is now ruling under martial law and declared elections will not be held in the country until the war with Russia is over.

"Of course, we are aware that the legitimacy of the current head of state has ended," Putin stated while in Belarus meeting with his counterpart Alexander Lukashenko.

"I completely agree with what Vladimir just said about the expiration of the powers of Volodymyr Zelensky," Lukashenko replied.

Simultaneously, the Kremlin rejected a report from Reuters that was released Thursday morning claiming that Putin was ready to negotiate a ceasefire deal in which Russia could keep the territorial gains they have achieved thus far in their invasion.

“This is not so,” the Kremlin press secretary of the head of state Dmitry Peskov said, per Russian news outlet TASS. “The President has repeatedly said that he is ready for negotiations. But negotiations in order to achieve the goals that we are now achieving through a special military operation. These goals are clear, the realities are also clear."

Peskov said that the Constitution of the Russian Federation “fixes the composition of the Russian Federation, including four new territories.”

Peskov also stated that Putin pointed to "previously drawn up very complex documents" that "could be some kind of foundation for starting some discussions, but nothing more."

Reuters had obtained its information for the report through "anonymous Russian sources."

Image: Title: putin z