The Kremlin has been quietly trying to persuade the outside world to persuade Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian leadership to return to the negotiating table, the independent Russian online newspaper writes. medusa.
According to the newspaper’s sources, the proposals of the Russian leadership are addressed to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other unnamed Western leaders. Turkey has previously offered to mediate between Ukraine and Russia.
Russia and Ukraine have held several rounds of negotiations since the Russian invasion on February 24, but Zelensky has stated in recent weeks that now Not likely to resume peace talks.
Ukraine’s president said he would not hold any talks with Putin after the Kremlin claimed it The annexation of four regions of Ukraine.
Retreat in Kherson
According to three sources close to the Kremlin, Russia has developed a new “tactical option” that includes agreeing with Ukraine a temporary ceasefire.
The Russian leadership believes that negotiations can take place between Russian and Ukrainian delegates – without the need for the two presidents themselves to participate, the newspaper wrote.
In addition, sources indicate that Russia will most likely be ready to withdraw its forces from parts of the Russian-occupied Kherson region.
– It is very difficult to hold on to Kherson at the moment, and the withdrawal from the region can be done as a gesture towards Ukraine, says the source.
In recent weeks, Ukraine has advanced in the Kherson region, in Luhansk and Donetsk, and last week the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged that Ukrainian forces regained control of several areas in Kherson.
Kherson is one of four partially occupied provinces of Russia that Putin wants to incorporate into Russia. The region is located in southern Ukraine and for Russia is an important buffer zone between the annexed Crimea and the rest of Ukraine.
But the newspaper said Putin had no plans to end the war. The ceasefire attempts are said to be a diversionary maneuver to buy time.
The Russians hope that a new, large-scale offensive will take place in February or March of next year – with trained soldiers and a renewed stockpile of weapons.
In front of the newspaper, Mikhailo Podoljak, Zelensky’s adviser, rejects Russia’s desire for a ceasefire.
– Do they really think we would agree, especially with regard to the counterattack? A breather for the brutally crushed Russian forces so you can train some quickly mobilized soldiers and send more doomed men to the battlefield? Why do we want that?
At the beginning of October, the Security Council of Ukraine signed a new decree stating that Ukrainian citizens are no longer allowed to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The decree came in response to Russia’s annexation of occupied parts of Ukraine, which is a violation of international law and has not been recognized by the international community.
Heavy fighting in Kherson
On Thursday, the British intelligence service wrote in its daily report that Russian forces may be trying to form a new front west of the town of Milov in Kherson.
Heavy fighting continues along this stretch, especially in the west where the Ukrainian advance has meant that the Russian flank is no longer protected by the river, according to intelligence.
They believe that Russia was forced to retreat 20 km as a result of the Ukrainian advance. According to UK intelligence, the majority of the Russian forces on this front line are airborne.
The intelligence agency also wrote in the report that the Russian occupation authorities may have been asked to prepare for the evacuation of civilians from Kherson.
– The report concludes that they likely expect that the fighting will extend to the city of Kherson.
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