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Putin Is Angry: Ukraine Won’t Give Land to Russia In Peace Deals

Ukraine
TOS-1 rocket launcher. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Ukraine ruled out the possibility of ceding land to Russia as part of a hypothetical ceasefire agreement between the two countries this weekend.

Mykhaylo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said that any concessions to Russia would lead to the Russian military offensive getting even bigger and bloodier. 

On Tuesday, Podolyak also said that peace talks with Russia were on hold.

The comments come as Russia’s offensive in the eastern Donbas region stalls, and Ukraine claims to have pushed Russian soldiers back to the border in Kharkiv.

What Is Russia Proposing?

In March, only weeks into the Ukraine invasion, Russia put forward four conditions that Ukraine must accept to stop the war. 

Top Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Ukraine had been made aware of the conditions and told that the war could be “stopped in a moment” if Kyiv accepts the demands.

Those four demands included the demilitarization of Ukraine, a constitutional amendment that would prevent the country from joining NATO, the recognition of Crimea as Russian, and the recognition of the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

So far, Ukraine has accepted that it will not join NATO. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that he will accept that Ukraine will not be taken into the Western military alliance. Little progress on those other demands has been made during the negotiations. 

Russia’s insistence that Ukraine accepts Crimea as Russian territory is not surprising. Since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the international community has largely refused to accept that Russia controls the territory. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also promised on multiple occasions to reclaim Crimea.

The insistence that Crimea accept the “independence” of the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk is also significant. If Ukraine were to accept this condition, Russia would have free rein to immediately annex the region and incorporate the territories into Putin’s empire.

While Kyiv repeatedly refused to accept Russia’s territorial demands in the early days of the invasion, now that Russia’s position has significantly weakened, Ukraine has even fewer reasons to cede land. 

With negotiations on hold, some analysts say the war in Ukraine could last several more months – and potentially even years.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss even suggested last month that the war could rage for another decade.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Jacksonian Libertarian

    May 23, 2022 at 11:28 am

    Why should Ukraine concede anything, they are regaining territory, and they are very angry.

  2. aldol11

    May 23, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    Russia is finished:
    militarily
    economically
    morally

    • h

      May 24, 2022 at 6:51 am

      You are being unfair.

      Russia can still look forward to a solid future in which it is of value to other nations by serving as an example of what not to do militarily, economically, morally and politically.

  3. Fluffy Dog

    May 23, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    The real negotiations will start after Ukraine receives offensive weapons. And antiship weapons. I would not be surprised if they manage to break through to the Russian lands and occupy some of them.

  4. Stefan Stackhouse

    May 23, 2022 at 3:57 pm

    Actually, the war could and maybe will go on for decades. They might eventually reach a stalemate and agree to a cease fire, as in Korea. That war is also technically continuing, for there is still no peace treaty. I suspect that the Ukrainians would find that scenario preferable to the alternative of formally signing away territory in exchange for a “peace treaty” that will only be observed until it isn’t.

  5. Mr_Whispers

    May 24, 2022 at 2:25 am

    If I’m Zelensky, I’d watch the Russians. If things continue as they have been (Russians taking a beating), I’d surrender nothing, land, territory, people NOTHING.

    Russian soldiers want to leave and go home and the Ukrainians want to kill every single one of them. Then send them home. Russians have committed to many crimes to let them just leave. I’d want blood too, lot’s of it.

    Game ON…
    Mr Putin

  6. from Russia with love

    May 24, 2022 at 8:13 am

    Russia has only two demands 1) demilitarization 2) denazification of Ukraine.
    and today Ukraine has lost not only the Crimea but also the Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. and yes, Russia is not interested in whether it is recognized in the West or not 🙂
    and more … given that the economic crisis is in the west, but not in Russia, the food crisis is in the west, but not in Russia, the energy crisis is in the west, but not in Russia, Putin definitely has nowhere to rush. rush to end the war in Ukraine but the EU and the US, but this can only be done on Russia’s terms;)

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