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WorldPutin wants truce in Ukraine on the front lines right now

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Putin wants truce in Ukraine on the front lines right now

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to stop the fighting in Ukraine if both sides agree to a ceasefire and the current borders are accepted. But if Ukraine and the West don’t agree, he is ready to keep fighting.

Three people who know about the conversations in Putin’s circle said that the experienced Russian leader had talked to a few advisers about being annoyed with what he sees as Western attempts to stop negotiations and the Ukrainian President’s decision to not have talks.

Another person who knows Putin well said that Putin is willing to keep fighting for as long as necessary, but he is also open to stopping the war and having a ceasefire.

He, like the others mentioned in this story, spoke anonymously because the topic is sensitive.

Reuters talked to five people who have worked closely with Putin in politics and business for this story. The fifth source did not say anything about stopping the war where it is now.

Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said that Russia is open to talking to achieve its goals. He also said that Russia doesn’t want to be in a never-ending war.

Ukraine’s foreign and defense ministries did not answer the questions.

Some people think that when economist Andrei Belousov was appointed as Russia’s defense minister last week, it meant that Russia is getting ready for a long war by focusing on the economy.

It happened after Russia kept fighting and gaining more land in the past few weeks.

However, the people said that Putin, who was elected again in March for another six years, would prefer to use Russia’s current progress to end the war. They did not talk about the new defence minister directly.

Two people who know about conversations in the top levels of the Russian government said that Putin thinks that the progress in the war is good enough to convince the Russian people that they have won.

The biggest fight in Europe since World War Two has caused many deaths on both sides, and has resulted in Western countries punishing Russia’s economy.

Three people said that Putin knew that making big new advances would need another nationwide mobilization, but he didn’t want that. One person, who knows Putin, said that his popularity went down after the first mobilization in September 2022.

The government asked some people to join the military in Russia, and it scared many people. As a result, hundreds of thousands of young men left the country. Surveys showed that fewer people liked Putin than before.

Peskov said that Russia doesn’t need to call up its regular army and instead is getting people to volunteer to join the armed forces as contractors.

The chances of stopping the fighting or having a discussion about peace right now are unlikely.

Zelenskyy has said many times that he will not agree to peace on Putin’s terms. He promised to recapture land that was taken, including Crimea, which Russia took over in 2014. In 2022, he made a rule that said having discussions with Putin is not allowed.

One source said there might be no agreement while Zelenskyy is in charge, unless Russia bypasses him and makes a deal directly with Washington. But US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Kyiv last week that he doesn’t think Putin wants to have real talks.

Swiss discussions

Ukraine is getting ready for a meeting in Switzerland next month. The meeting is about getting countries to agree on how to stop the war. The meeting was organized by Zelenskyy, who said that Putin should not come. Switzerland did not ask Russia to come.

Moscow said the discussions are not believable if they are not involved. Ukraine and Switzerland want Russia’s friends, including China, to come to the meeting.

On May 17th, while talking in China, Putin mentioned that Ukraine might use the talks in Switzerland to get more countries to support Zelenskyy’s request for Russia to completely withdraw. Putin thinks this demand is more of a forced condition than a real effort to make peace.

The Swiss foreign ministry did not reply right away when asked for a comment.

We are prepared to talk. “We never said no,” Putin said in China.

The Kremlin is not talking about how its military operation in Ukraine is going. But, they have said that they are willing to have talks based on the current situation in Ukraine.

When asked about this story, a spokesperson from the US State Department said that any plan for peace in Ukraine should follow the country’s borders that are recognized around the world. They also said that Russia is the only thing stopping peace in Ukraine.

“The Kremlin has not shown any real interest in stopping the war, on the contrary,” the spokesperson said.

In the past, Kyiv didn’t believe Russia was really ready to talk because it seemed like Russia was trying to blame them for the war.

Kyiv says Putin cannot be trusted to keep any deal because his team denied planning a war before invading Ukraine in 2022.

Russia and Ukraine are worried that the other side will use a ceasefire to get more weapons.

Kyiv and the countries that support it are hoping that a $61 billion aid package from the US and more military aid from Europe will help turn around what Zelenskiy called “one of the toughest times” in the war.

Ukraine is having trouble getting enough ammunition because the US is taking a long time to approve it. They are also having a hard time finding enough soldiers, so they have decided to lower the age for drafting men to 25 instead of 27.

Land or area

Putin is not willing to change his mind about securing any progress on the battlefield in a deal, according to all the sources.

Putin is okay with keeping the land he has now and stopping the fighting at the current front lines. Four people said this.

One person said Putin will claim we won and that NATO attacked us but we kept our independence. They also said Putin will say we have a road to Crimea, which is true.

Stopping the fighting where it is now would mean that Russia keeps control of big parts of four Ukrainian regions that he took in September 2022, but doesn’t have complete control over any of them.

This plan would not meet Moscow’s goals when it said it controlled all of four regions in Ukraine – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson.

Peskov said that Russia won’t give back the four regions because they are now part of Russia according to its constitution.

Another reason why the leader of Russia wants the war to end is because the longer it goes on, the more experienced soldiers will come back to Russia. These soldiers may not be happy with the jobs and money they can get after the war, and this could cause problems in society. This information comes from someone who has worked with Putin.

‘Russia will keep moving forward’

In February, three people from Russia told Reuters that the United States said no to Putin’s idea of stopping the war with a ceasefire.

If there’s no agreement to stop fighting, Putin wants to take over as much land as he can to make Ukraine feel more pressure. He also wants to take advantage of any sudden chances to get even more land, according to three people.

Russian forces are in charge of about 18% of Ukraine and recently moved into the northeastern region of Kharkiv.

Putin thinks that Russia has a lot more people than Ukraine, so they will have more soldiers without needing to call everyone to join the military. The soldiers will also get paid a lot of money to persuade them to join.

“Russia will continue to advance,” said the person who has experience working with Putin.

Putin will take more land little by little until Zelenskyy makes a deal to stop. The Russian leader thinks the West won’t give Ukraine enough weapons, which will make Ukraine feel less confident.

Leaders from the US and Europe have promised to support Ukraine until it is safe and its independence is protected. NATO countries and their friends are working to speed up the delivery of weapons.

The State Department said that Russia can stop the war by pulling its army out of Ukraine, instead of attacking Ukraine’s cities, ports, and people every day.

All five sources said that Putin told his advisers that he doesn’t plan to take over any NATO territory, which is the same thing he has said publicly. Two sources said that Russia is worried about the situation in Ukraine getting worse and possibly leading to a conflict with the West, including a nuclear conflict.

The State Department said that the United States has not changed its plan for nuclear weapons, and has not seen any indication that Russia is getting ready to use a nuclear weapon.

“We are still watching the situation carefully and are prepared,” said the spokesperson.

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