Ukraine says it stopped a Russian offensive and they say Putin is willing to negotiate a ceasefire

Ukraine says it stopped a Russian offensive and they say Putin is willing to negotiate a ceasefire
Ukraine says it stopped a Russian offensive and they say Putin is willing to negotiate a ceasefire

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KIEV.- While the Ukrainian army stated this Friday that it managed “stop” the assault launched by Russia two weeks ago in the Kharkiv regionin the northeast of the country, the Russian president, Vladimir Putinsaid he is willing to negotiate a ceasefire that recognizes “the current lines of the battlefield”according to Russian sources told the press.

The Russian army had launched an offensive in the Kharkiv region from the border two weeks ago, conquering several towns and forcing Ukraine to deploy reinforcements in the area. This Friday, after two weeks of fighting, “Ukrainian defense forces detained Russian troops in the Kharkiv sector and are carrying out counteroffensive actions”Colonel Igor Projorenko, an official of the Ukrainian General Staff, told the press. The situation in this region is “difficult” but “stable and under control,” he added.

Fighting continues in particular for control of Vovchansk. ”The enemy is completely bogged down in street fighting in Vovchansk and suffered very heavy losses,” General Oleksdandre Syrsky, commander in chief of the Ukrainian army, said on Friday. Moscow sent “reserves” to continue its assault, the same source added.

Syrsky also reported “intense” fighting “in three key areas of the eastern front, Khasiv Yar, Pokrovsk and Kurakhove.

Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky this Friday in Kharkiv (Photo by Handout / UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / AFP)HANDOUT – UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER

For his part, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyannounced this Friday that he was in Kharkiv, mainly to hold meetings on the “defense of the region, in particular in Vovchansk.”

”The entire city, the entire Kharkiv region deserves our support, our gratitude and our respect, as does every Ukrainian community, every one of our citizens who they do not submit to the enemy and do everything possible to save their lives”he declared.

According to kyiv, Russia intends to stretch to the breaking point the defensive lines of the Ukrainian forces, weakened after more than two years of war, the lack of new recruits and the shortage of weapons due to the delay in Western shipments.

Since May 10, nearly 11,000 civilians have fled the region, Governor Oleg Synegubov said Thursday.

While, four russian fonts They told the Reuters agency that President Putin is willing to stop the war in Ukraine with a negotiated ceasefire that recognizes “the current lines of the battlefield”. But they also made it clear that the Kremlin is prepared to continue fighting if kyiv and the West do not respond.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was received in Minsk this Friday by his Belarusian ally Alexander Lukashenko (DPA)– – Kremlin

Three of the sources, familiar with discussions in Putin’s entourage, said the veteran Russian leader had expressed frustration to a small group of advisers about what he sees as Western-backed attempts to hinder the negotiations and the Ukrainian president’s decision to discard conversations.

”Putin can fight as long as necessary, but he is also willing to have a ceasefire, to freeze the war”said another of the four, a high-level Russian source who has worked with Putin and has knowledge of the Kremlin talks.

Like the other sources cited, they spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

When asked about that version, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, said that the Kremlin chief had repeatedly made it clear that Russia was open to dialogue to achieve its goals, stating that the country did not want an “eternal war.”.

The Ukrainian ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense did not respond to questions.

Last week’s appointment of economist Andrei Belousov as Russia’s defense minister was seen by some Western military and political analysts as putting the Russian economy on a permanent war footing in order to win a long conflict.

The appointment came following sustained battlefield pressure and Russia’s territorial advances in recent weeks.

However, sources consulted - stated that Putin, re-elected in March for a new six-year term, would prefer take advantage of Russia’s current momentum to put the war behind us. They made no explicit comments about the new defense minister.

Based on their knowledge of conversations in the Kremlin’s upper ranks, two of the sources said Putin was of the opinion that The advances in the war so far were sufficient for the Russian people to consider there to be a victory.

Europe’s biggest land conflict since World War II has cost tens of thousands of lives on both sides and led to sweeping Western sanctions on the Russian economy.

Three sources said Putin understood that Any new dramatic advance would require another national mobilization, which he did not want.. One of the sources, who knows the Russian president, recalled that his popularity fell after the first mobilization in September 2022.

The conscription scared a part of the Russian population, causing hundreds of thousands of men of enlistment age to leave the country. Polls showed Putin’s popularity fell several points.

Peskov claimed that Russia had no need for mobilization and was instead recruiting volunteers for the armed forces.

The prospect of a ceasefire, or even peace talks, currently appears remote. Zelensky has repeatedly said that peace on Putin’s terms is not an option, and has promised recover lost territory, including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

Zelensky signed a decree in 2022 that formally declared any talks with Putin “impossible.”

One of the sources predicted that there would be no deal while Zelensky is in power, unless Russia circumvents it and spoke to Washington. However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in kyiv last week that he did not believe Putin was interested in serious negotiations.

Agencies Reuters and AFP

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