Zelensky’s ‘peace summit’ attendees must register phones – media

The upcoming event is turning into a “digital concentration camp,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said

The upcoming Swiss-hosted Ukraine ‘peace summit’ will feature mandatory registration of smartphones and other digital gadgets for those in attendance, TASS reported on Saturday, citing several sources who had been invited to the event.

Those invited to the conference have already received a special form to list their gadgets, according to the report. The measure is presumably designed primarily to prevent potential leaks to the media.

Reached for comment by TASS, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the measure was hardly surprising.

“Liberal democracies always result in a digital concentration camp – everything described by [George] Orwell,” Zakharova stated.

Earlier this week, a separate by Russian media outlet Octagon suggested the organizers of the conference had opted to heavily restrict media presence at the summit, effectively banning journalists from post-Soviet states from attending. The number of accreditations was limited to 500, with the organizers reportedly citing “space limitations” and “security requirements” as the reason for their decision.

The conference is scheduled to be held from June 15-16 at the Burgenstock Resort near Lucerne, with more than 160 countries invited. The actual representation however still remains unclear, with multiple invitees reportedly opting to send only minor officials or to skip it altogether. This week, Beijing said that it would not be sending a delegation on the grounds that both Russia and Ukraine must be present at any peace talks.

Russia has been excluded from the conference, with Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky arguing that Moscow must not be present because it could sway other countries and hijack Kiev’s agenda. The event is expected to revolve around Zelensky’s so-called peace plan, which effectively envisions Russia’s capitulation.

Moscow has long-rejected the plan, dismissing it as “absurd” and “detached from reality.” Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that the summit, among other things, was designed to prop up Zelensky after his presidential term had expired.

“I think one of the goals of this conference for the Western community, the sponsors of today’s Kiev regime, is to confirm the legitimacy of the current – albeit no longer valid – head of state,” Putin stated.