The Ukrainian President savaged Silvio Berlusconi as he met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Kyiv on Tuesday. The former Italian leader, now in a coalition government with Meloni, blamed Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine on the Ukrainian President, as he argued Zelensky should have stopped to “attack” the republics of Donbas against Russian occupation.
Asked to respond to the comments by a reporter, the Ukrainian leader said: “Several leaders have the right to think, the real problem is the approach of the Italian society that gave that leader a mandate.
“I believe that Berlusconi’s house has never been bombed, tanks have never arrived in his garden, no one has killed his relatives, he never had to pack his bags at 3am to escape and, all this thanks to the brotherly love of Russia.
“I wish peace to all Italian families, even to those who don’t support us, but ours is a great tragedy that must be understood.
“I want them to come here to see with their own eyes the trail of blood they left.”
The former Italian Prime Minister said he judges Zelensky’s behavior “very negatively”.
Speaking in Milan last week, he said: “It would have been enough for him to stop attacking the two autonomous republics of Donbas and this war would not have happened. So I judge this gentleman’s behavior very, very negatively.”
The Italian leader of Forza Italia also attacked his premier claiming he would have never engaged in talks with Zelenksy at this month’s European Council Summit in Brussels.
He said: “I would never have gone to talk to Zelensky if I had been the Prime Minister, because we are witnessing the devastation of his country and the massacre of its soldiers and civilians.”
READ MORE: Woman ‘shunned by her family’ after claiming to be Madeleine McCann
Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, who was in Ukraine on Tuesday, said she wished Putin had taken a different approach as she commented on the Russian leader’s annual address to his lawmakers.
In Tuesday’s speech, Putin again offered his own version of recent history, discounting Ukraine’s arguments that it needed Western help to thwart a Russian military takeover. He has repeatedly depicted NATO’s expansion to include countries close to Russia as an existential threat to his country.
“What we heard this morning was propaganda that we already know,” Meloni said in English. “He says (Russia) worked on diplomacy to avoid the conflict, but the truth is that there is somebody who is the invader and somebody who is defending himself.”