Putin Wants Ceasefire Which Freezes Current Lines In Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin is offering a ceasefire with Ukraine and its Western backers to end what has long been a full-fledged proxy war. But it’s unlikely to be agreed to by Kiev as he reportedly wants to freeze current positions.

Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire – to freeze the war,” a senior Russian source said to be close to the Russian leader told Reuters. If it happened, Putin would most certainly present this as ‘victory’ to his people and to the world.

Image: Associated Press

Putin himself told a press conference Friday that peace talks with Ukraine should be renewed, but they “must reflect realities on the ground.

Reuters writes that “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 views as Western-backed attempts to stymie negotiations and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s decision to rule out talks.”

Any scenario which sees current lines frozen would mean Ukraine would have to cede substantial chunks of four Ukrainian regions. And in Kharkiv, for example, where a new Russian offensive is taking place, the border has been moved deeper into Ukrainian territory over the last weeks.

But Zelensky has repeatedly ruled out ceasefire negotiations with Moscow so long as Putin remains in power, calling this “impossible”. 

The fact that the US just recently passed Biden’s $61 billion in new defense aid for Ukraine also provides less incentive for Zelensky to come to the table, even if Ukraine continues losing many troops.

Ukraine media and officials have charged that any Putin ceasefire offer is in the end a ploy meant to buy time to reenforce and resupply his troops, and to solidify current battlefield gains.

If the lines were frozen today, what would it look like? Forbes outlines:

  • Russia occupies about 18% of Ukraine, including parts of the country’s four southeastern regions—Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson—according to the Council on Foreign Relations, a U.S.-based think tank.

  • Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Reuters Russia did not want “eternal war,” adding Russia would not return territory in those four regions to Ukraine because they are now a permanent part of Russia.

  • Three sources suggested Putin would be against further advances into Ukraine because it would require another nationwide mobilization, after a previous call-up resulted in a dip in popularity for Putin.

Source: Institute for the Study of War

Putin is now said to be of the view that “gains in the war so far were enough to sell a victory to the Russian people.”

According to more from the new Reuters report, “the sources said that Putin, re-elected in March for a new six-year term, would rather use Russia’s current momentum to put the war behind him. They did not directly comment on the new defense minister.”

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Originally Posted at; https://www.zerohedge.com//