Ukrainian negotiator says no cope with Russia

Presidential adviser Mikhail Podoliak mentioned that any settlement with Moscow “isn’t worth a broken penny”

Despite Russian advances within the Donbass, Ukrainian presidential adviser and peace talks negotiator Mikhail Podoliak declared on Saturday that Kiev wouldn’t search an settlement with Moscow. His assertion contradicts earlier overtures towards diplomacy by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Any agreement with Russia isn’t worth a broken penny,” Podoliak declared in a Telegram publish. “Russia has proved that it is a barbarian country that threatens world security.”

“Ukraine will fight with Russia until the victorious finale,” he continued, concluding that “A barbarian can only be stopped by force.”

Podoliak led the Ukrainian delegation throughout a number of rounds of unsuccessful peace talks in the course of the preliminary weeks of Russia’s navy operation in Ukraine. Now, his denunciation of talks with Moscow stands in stark distinction to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s acknowledgement earlier this week that he “may try and go the diplomatic way,” ought to Russian President Vladimir Putin be keen to speak instantly.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was skeptical of Zelensky’s obvious embrace of diplomacy.

“The Ukrainian leadership constantly makes statements that contradict each other, which makes it impossible to fully understand its intentions and whether it is ready to take a sober approach and acknowledge the real state of affairs,” Peskov advised reporters on Friday.

An analogous sample has performed out because the battle started in February, with Zelensky periodically expressing curiosity in negotiating a settlement with Russia, just for his officers, the US State Department, or Zelensky himself to precise the other sentiment shortly afterwards. After he introduced his willingness to enter negotiations earlier this week, Zelensky got here out on Friday and advised his residents that “there will be no alternative to our Ukrainian flags” flying over the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk – primarily Russian-speaking areas that declared independence from Ukraine in February.

Since the give up of the final Ukrainian forces in Mariupol earlier this month, Russian troops and troopers from Donetsk and Lugansk republics have captured the important thing cities of Popasnaya and Liman in northern Donbass and closed in on Slavyansk. Meanwhile, with preventing persevering with within the Severodonetsk and Lisichansk salient, Russian troops are actually inside a number of kilometers of the key provide hub of Bakhmut.

Amid this advance, Ukraine’s Western backers – which beforehand insisted that Ukraine would win the continued battle – have begun to admit that Russian forces are inflicting injury on Ukraine’s navy. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described Russia’s progress in Donbass on Friday as “palpable,” whereas in Washington, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby mentioned that Moscow’s forces are making “some incremental gains in the Donbass.”

With Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba conceding that the scenario in Donbass is “extremely bad,” on Friday the Washington Post provided a uncommon glimpse into what Ukrainian troops described as staggering losses, mutiny within the ranks, and hunger within the trenches.

Only a handful of dissenting voices – former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger amongst them – have urged the Ukrainians to sue for peace. Meanwhile, UK PM Johnson has as a substitute referred to as on the UK’s allies to ship heavier weapons to Kiev, whereas the Biden administration reportedly gave the inexperienced mild to ship long-range rocket artillery programs to Ukraine. 

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