© AFP/Reuters
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for talks in the country's war-torn eastern region amid escalating tensions between the two nations .

"I am ready to go even further and invite you to meet in any part of the Ukrainian Donbass where war is ongoing," Zelenskiy said in an address to the nation.

He added that Russian and Ukrainian negotiators had discussed plans to travel to the trenches to assess the situation.

Tensions along the border

Ukraine has accused Russia of a massive buildup of troops along its border, which Moscow says is a training exercise. The US Pentagon and the European Union have both confirmed the buildup. Germany and France have urged Russia to withdraw its troops.

"A considerable number of Russian troops are concentrated near our border. Officially, Russia calls this military exercises. Unofficially, the whole world calls such things blackmail," Zelenskiy said in his address.

Comment: Zelenskiy could learn a thing or two about diplomacy. If he wants to meet with Putin, it would probably be a good idea not to spread such lies and propaganda (no doubt fed to him from his American masters). It's not as if Putin is blind to the military buildup occurring in Ukraine. But Zelenskiy is plugging his ears and pretending not to hear that.

"The Russian president once said that if a fight is inevitable, you need to hit first. But every leader needs to understand that a fight must not be inevitable when it ... concerns a real war and millions of human lives," he added.

Russia in turn accused the United States and NATO of "provocative activity" in the Black Sea region.

Ukraine seeks diplomatic solution

Zelenskiy said that Ukraine wants to end the conflict through diplomacy but is ready to defend itself if attacked.

"Does Ukraine want the war? No. But is Ukraine ready for the war? Yes," he said.

Comment: Ukraine would be wiped off the map in a war against Russia. This is either blind idiocy or him attempting to bluff the best poker player in the world. Good luck with that.

Zelenskiy was elected in 2019 on the promise of ending the conflict eastern Ukraine. Pro-Russian rebels have been waging an insurgency in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula. The conflict has claimed more than 13,000 lives.