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Ukraine Is Beating Russia on the Battlefield and Doesn’t Want to Negotiate

M270 MLRS Rocket Artillery
M270 MLRS. Image: ROK Military handout.

Ukraine Rules Out More Negotiations With Russia: Mykhaylo Podolyak, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s top adviser, admitted over the weekend that Kyiv is not interested in negotiating with Russia. The presidential adviser’s comments come after reports revealed how the White House pressured Kyiv to express willingness to negotiate with the Kremlin, even if those negotiations don’t begin in the near future.

“When you have the initiative on the battlefield, it’s slightly bizarre to receive proposals like ‘you may not be able to do everything by military means anyway, you need to negotiate,” Podolyak said, suggesting Kyiv now believes it is in a position of strength over Russian forces.

Podolyak suggested that negotiations at this stage, as Russian troops withdraw from Kherson and begin fortifying the Crimean peninsula, would simply allow Russia to recover lost territories.

Speaking to AFP, Podolyak said that negotiating now would mean capitulating to “a country that is losing.”

Kyiv was effectively given the approval of the White House to reject talks this week when a U.S. official said that only the Ukrainian president could decide to reopen peace talks with Russia.

“We have also said that Zelenskyy gets to determine if and when he’s ready for negotiations and what those negotiations look like,” the U.S. official said, adding that the United States is not pressuring Kyiv to return to the negotiating table. That being said, however, the White House could simply be attempting to withdraw from the spotlight and avoid looking weak on Russia.

What Does Ukraine Need?

Not only did Podolyak dismiss any new negotiations with Russia, but he also explicitly called for more military aid. Specifically, the presidential adviser said that Ukrainian forces need as many as 200 new tanks, 300 additional armored vehicles, and a further 100 artillery systems.

Additional anti-aircraft defense systems were also requested, to assist with defending against missile and drone strikes from Russian positions, as well as 70 additional multiple-launch rocket systems, including HIMARS.

Russia and Ukraine Butting Heads

Both Kyiv and Moscow insist that negotiations failed because of the other side. On November 17, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed that the lack of progress in peace negotiations was the fault of Kyiv, and that recent missile strikes on Ukrainian cities were caused by Ukraine’s “unwillingness” to negotiate.

HIMARS in Ukraine

HIMARS. This is similar to what is being used in Ukraine.

“The unwillingness of the Ukrainian side to settle the problem, to start negotiations, its refusal to seek common ground, this is their consequence,” Peskov said.

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He 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. Brad Arnold

    November 21, 2022 at 3:31 am

    I agree that the Z govt believes they can improve their position, and publically states winning is kicking Russia completely out of Ukraine.

    What I disagree with is the Z govt continuing the bloodbath and refusing to trade land for peace, especially the US continuing to unflinchingly fully support Z’s very expensive and self-defeating conflagration.

    I’d say 100k Ukrainian soldiers dead, and another 100k next year when Ukraine will lose their advantage (if they ever really had one). They will be gradually bombarded into the 19th century. Plus anyone that can escape from Z’s hellhole will flood the West. All paid for by the US with borrowed money.

    For relatively little, Russia is bleeding the West dry of treasure. Yeah, Ukraine might have a slight military advantage purchased with gigantic casualties, but the West is paying so much in indirect costs that it borders insanity them paying so much just to prolong the conflict that ultimately will be settled with a land for peace deal worse than will be achievable now.

  2. Tallifer

    November 21, 2022 at 9:14 am

    @Brad Arnold

    Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand lost 60,000 men in one day on the Somme. They eventually defeated the Kaiser and broke up the German, Austrian and Ottoman empires. I doubt that the free and patriotic Ukrainians will do less than such against unmotivated and ill-equipped hordes of slave soldiers.

  3. Leidsegracht

    November 21, 2022 at 9:27 am

    I’m really disappointed in the lack of strategic thought capacity by writers on this site. Too often authors seem to rely on their proficiency in tactics and weapons systems which leads them to miss the point that war is merely the continuation of politics by other means (someone really ought to write a thesis on that).

    I *HIGHLY* recommend the author and everyone here read Frederick Kagan’s piece at the Critical Threats Project entitled “The Case Against Negotiations with Russia”. Kagan’s piece understands the political realities that drove Putin to launch this war and why negotiating a ceasefire with Russia at this point in time simply will not work.

    I would post the URL but the editors of this site have binned previous posts when I’ve included URL’s to other sites.

  4. Brian

    November 21, 2022 at 9:45 am

    Well then, Mr Arnoldski, all the Russians need do is remove their tin soldiers behind their own borders and let Ukraine get on with rebuilding better than before, within the EU and with the security of NATO membership. That is the only way to end Putin’s folly.

  5. Steven

    November 21, 2022 at 1:27 pm

    Brad, Ukraine war ain’t “treasure”…and besides it’s obvious you don’t know what your talking about. How do you see 100,000 dead? Russia is being routed before your eyes, but you tools are so brainwashed you cannot see it.

  6. Friend

    November 21, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    There’s no peace talks. Russia is floating around that rumor like a carrot on a stick to those weak minded Euroleaders who are either looking to avoid domestic troubles caused by dependency on Russia by nixing the sanctions and forcing Ukraine to capitulate or are looking to appease Russia for the benefit of their exotic yet poor homelands. Those include, but are not limited to, the leaders of Austria, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Rishi Sunak.

  7. Roger Bacon

    November 21, 2022 at 4:08 pm

    Every side lies during a war about casualties. One thing that can not be lied about is control on the ground. It is clear Ukraine has the upper hand and I don’t see that situation changing anytime soon. Russian draftees with low morale and minimal equipment are just cannon fodder. When Ukrainian forces start moving into Crimea then the $hits really going to hit the fan. The Russian upper class likes vacationing in Crimea. When they can’t they will turn on Putin.

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