The Ukrainian leader got personal in his speech at the Davos World Economic Forum
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has threatened Russian President Vladimir Putin’s entire family with “criminal trials” and long prison sentences, during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday.
Zelensky’s address to the gathering of aspiring global leaders focused on asking for more weapons, money, and ammunition so he could continue to fight Russia. At one point, however, he made a reference to the Russian leader’s family.
Putin will not “rest in peace, both in this world and in the next,” said Zelensky. “Neither his children, nor his grandchildren.”
The Russian leader is “the sole reason why various wars and conflicts persist” and he must be held accountable so his “aggression” doesn’t embolden other “autocracies,” Zelensky insisted.
“Yes, we are not terrorists, and therefore these will be criminal trials,” after which Putin and his entire family would spend “a long, multi-year vacation” behind bars, he added.
Zelensky has repeatedly insisted that Ukraine does not engage in terrorism, while admitting he would have Putin assassinated if the opportunity arose. The Ukrainian security service, the SBU, has operated a dedicated assassination unit since 2015, according to its former chief.
The Washington Post recently highlighted the SBU’s campaign of assassinations while attempting to deflect any blame from the CIA, which is deeply embedded in Ukrainian intelligence.
Ukraine has targeted local Russian officials, as well as journalists such as Darya Dugina and Vladlen Tatarsky. Writer Zakhar Prilepin survived an assassination attempt, while Russian security services thwarted a SBU hit on RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan in November.
Zelensky’s mention of Putin’s grandchildren came just a day after Anne Applebaum – an American journalist and wife of Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski – claimed that the Russian president “has a grandson with Dutch citizenship.” Her source was an associate of Alexey Navalny, a Russian blogger imprisoned for embezzlement.
The Russian president was married from 1983 to 2013 and has two daughters, who have stayed out of the media spotlight. His ex-wife, Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, was sanctioned by the UK in 2022.