Putin Is Ready To Halt The War In Ukraine With Ceasefire That Recognises Current Battlefield Lines – But Will Fight On If The West Does Not Respond

Russia’s Vladimir Putin is ready to halt the war in Ukraine if a negotiated ceasefire that recognises the current battlefield lines can be agreed, Russian sources claim. Three of the sources, familiar with discussions in Putin’s entourage, told Reuters 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 Zelensky’s decision to rule out talks....Read The Full Story Here ▶

‘Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire to freeze the war,’ said another of the insiders, a senior Russian source who has worked with Putin and has knowledge of top level conversations in the Kremlin.

He, like the others cited in this story, spoke on condition of anonymity given the matter’s sensitivity.

Reuters spoke to a total of five people who work with or have worked with Putin at a senior level in the political and business worlds.

The fifth source did not comment on freezing the war at the current frontlines.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in response to a request for comment, said the Kremlin chief had repeatedly made clear Russia was open to dialogue to achieve its goals, saying the country did not want an eternal war.

Ukraine’s foreign and defence ministries did not respond to questions.

The appointment last week of economist Andrei Belousov as Russia’s defence minister was seen by some Western military and political analysts as placing the Russian economy on a permanent war footing in order to win a protracted conflict.

It followed sustained battlefield pressure and territorial advances by Russia in recent weeks.

However, 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 defence minister.

Based on their knowledge of conversations in the upper ranks of the Kremlin, two of the sources said Putin was of the view that gains in the war so far were enough to sell a victory to the Russian people.

Europe’s biggest ground conflict since World War Two has cost tens of thousands of lives on both sides and led to sweeping Western sanctions on Russia’s economy.

Three sources said Putin understood any dramatic new advances would require another nationwide mobilisation, which he didn’t want, with one source, who knows the Russian president, saying his popularity dipped after the first mobilisation in September 2022.

The national call up spooked part of the population in Russia, triggering hundreds of thousands of draft age men to leave the country. Polls showed Putin’s popularity falling by several points.

Peskov said Russia had no need for mobilisation and was instead recruiting volunteer contractors to the armed forces. The prospect of a ceasefire, or even peace talks, currently seems remote.

Zelensky has repeatedly said peace on Putin’s terms is a non-starter. He has vowed to retake lost territory, including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. He signed a decree in 2022 that formally declared any talks with Putin ‘impossible.’

One of the sources predicted no agreement could happen while Zelensky was in power, unless Russia bypassed him and struck a deal with Washington. However, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking in Kyiv last week, told reporters he did not believe Putin was interested in serious negotiations.

Meanwhile, dramatic footage shared online showed a stunning ATACMS Salvo missile launching from Ukraine to strike Russian forces.

The footage, which social media users claim was taken in Donetsk, shows Russian S-400 Surface-to-Air Missile Battery and at least 2 of what are believed to be S-400 Launchers destroyed by the Ukrainian assaults.

This latest development comes after former US President Donald Trump pledged to use his relationship with Putin to get journalist Evan Gershkovich released from his Russian imprisonment.

‘Evan Gershkovich, the Reporter from The Wall Street Journal, who is being held by Russia, will be released almost immediately after the Election, but definitely before I assume Office. He will be HOME, SAFE, AND WITH HIS FAMILY,’ Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, will do that for me, but not for anyone else, and WE WILL BE PAYING NOTHING!’

Despite Trump’s confidence, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed Putin has ‘naturally not had contacts with Donald Trump.’

Evan Gershkovich is a Wall Street Journal writer hired shortly before Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine.

On March 29, 2023, he became the first US journalist since the Cold War to be charged with espionage in the country.

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