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“It is a Huge Disappointment”: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Criticized Modi On Meeting Putin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow as a major setback for peace efforts. This criticism came on the same day that Russian missiles hit a children’s hospital in Kyiv, killing at least 39 people. Modi’s visit to Russia, his first since the invasion of Ukraine, included meetings and […]

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow as a major setback for peace efforts. This criticism came on the same day that Russian missiles hit a children’s hospital in Kyiv, killing at least 39 people.

Modi’s visit to Russia, his first since the invasion of Ukraine, included meetings and public displays of friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Zelensky expressed his disappointment on social media, condemning Modi for meeting Putin amid the violence in Ukraine. “It is a huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts to see the leader of the world’s largest democracy hug the world’s most bloody criminal in Moscow on such a day,” Zelensky said in a post on X on Monday. Modi, while not directly addressing the missile strikes, emphasized the importance of resolving conflicts through peace and dialogue rather than war.

Modi expressed his sorrow over the loss of innocent lives and highlighted the necessity of peace for future generations. “Whether it’s conflict war or terror, any person who believes in humanity is troubled when there are deaths, especially when innocent children die,” Modi told reporters while seated alongside the Russian president. He stated that India is ready to support peace efforts and called for dialogue as the path to resolving conflicts.

During his visit, Modi and Putin discussed their bilateral relationship and the situation in Ukraine. Putin appreciated Modi’s efforts to find a solution to the conflict. Modi’s comments were seen as his most critical remarks on Russia’s war in Ukraine, indicating India’s stance in favor of peace.

Modi also addressed the Indian community in Moscow, praising the strong ties between India and Russia. He announced the opening of two new consulates in Yekaterinburg and Kazan to boost travel and business, emphasizing the deep-rooted friendship based on mutual trust and respect.

The Russian missile attacks targeted several Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Slovyansk, and Kramatorsk. The strike on Kyiv’s Okhmatdyt hospital, the largest children’s medical center in Ukraine, resulted in significant casualties. Volunteers and medical staff worked tirelessly to rescue children and continue their care despite the destruction.

UN human rights chief Volker Turk described the chaotic scene, where medical workers treated children outside the damaged hospital. Russia’s defense ministry claimed, without evidence, that the damage was caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile, asserting their forces targeted Ukrainian military facilities.

In Moscow, Modi and Putin held official talks and visited a nuclear industry pavilion. Their warm interactions underscored the continued strong ties between India and Russia, despite Western efforts to isolate Putin. India relies heavily on Russia for military equipment and has increased its purchase of discounted Russian oil.

Modi’s office stated that the visit aimed to review bilateral cooperation and discuss global issues. The United States has expressed concerns about India’s relationship with Russia, urging India to support Ukraine’s sovereignty. While India has called for peace in Ukraine, it has abstained from condemning Russia’s invasion at the United Nations.

Trade between India and Russia reached nearly $65 billion in 2023-24, primarily due to energy cooperation. Modi aimed to address the trade imbalance during his talks with Putin. This visit was Modi’s first bilateral trip since his re-election, highlighting its importance to the Kremlin.

The Russian attacks occurred just before a significant NATO summit in Washington, where new support for Ukraine was expected. US President Joe Biden condemned the missile strikes, urging continued global support for Ukraine against Russian aggression.

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Indo-Russia relationsNarendra ModiTDGThe Daily GuardianUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky