Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday that if Ukrainians in the besieged city of Mariupol are killed by Russian forces, and if Russia organizes "pseudo" referendums in occupied territories, Ukraine will stop negotiations with the Russian side.
Zelensky also reiterated his willingness to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying "I don't have a right to be afraid" as the Ukrainian people have shown they are not afraid of the Russian military.
"As for the topic of the meeting with the president of Russia, yes, I would like to start to finalize the war. There is a diplomatic way, and there is the military way. So any healthy and sane person always chooses diplomatic way, because he or she knows even if it's hard, it may stop the losses of thousands, of tens of thousands. And with such neighbors, hundreds of thousands and maybe millions of victims," he said, via translated remarks, while holding a press conference in an underground subway station.
While Zelensky said he's "not afraid" to meet with Putin, it's difficult to trust what Russia says.
"There is no trust to Russia. Those are not synonyms, those are antonyms: Russia and trust. Because they're just saying something, and their words do not coincide with actions," he said.
Zelensky said possible future negotiations in Turkey depend on Putin, and the Ukranian president reiterated his willingness to participate in talks.
Zelensky also said Kyiv is "in permanent contact" with Ukrainians in Mariupol but couldn't share details about the messaging. "These are our people and our town," he said.
Zelensky said eight people, including a baby, were killed in missile strikes in the southern port city of Odesa on Saturday.