OSLO, Norway – Ukraine should continue to fight Russian troops, the leader of a Ukrainian rights group that won the Nobel Peace Prize said on Friday, December 9, adding that any attempt to enter into talks to end the war would be interpreted by Russia as a sign of weakness.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Moscow would likely have to reach agreements regarding Ukraine eventually. Kyiv has previously said it hadn’t ruled out negotiating with Russia, but not with Putin as leader.
Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties, Russian rights group Memorial and jailed Belarusian activist Ales Byalyatski won the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize amid the worst conflict in Europe since World War Two.
Asked whether Ukraine and the West should enter into talks with Putin to end the war, the leader of the Ukrainian rights group said Kyiv would “never leave our people for torture and death in occupied territories”.
“So the West has to help Ukraine to resist and to liberate all temporary occupied territories, including Crimea,” Oleksandra Matviichuk told a news conference in Oslo. The award ceremony will be held on Saturday.
“The logic of authoritarian leaders is very understandable: they see any attempt (at) dialogue as a sign of weakness.”
Founded in 2007, the group aims to document every single war crime committed across Ukraine.
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize, the first since Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, recognizes the efforts of civil society to stand up against authoritarian states and human rights abuses, the Norwegian Nobel committee has said.
The Russian laureate, Memorial, said Ukraine was not only fighting for its independence but also for the survival of a peaceful international order.
“It is fighting for international law. It is fighting for our joint peaceful future,” Yan Rachinsky, chairman of the international Memorial board, told the same news conference.
“The choice before the international community … is between the unpleasant situation today and the catastrophe tomorrow.” – Rappler.com