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Ukraine says negotiated peace with Russia is not an option, dismissed U.S. deal with Kremlin that excluded Crimea

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Municipal officials tear down pro-Russian signs after the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson, Ukraine, on November 22.Murad Caesar/Reuters

peace negotiated between Russia When Ukraine A senior Ukrainian official said on Tuesday that the West should try to accelerate Russia’s defeat, not avoid it.

Mihailo Podoljak, Advisor Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyrejected suggestions that Ukraine should accept the loss of Crimea as the price to end a war that has killed thousands and displaced millions from their homes. Crimea was illegally seized and annexed by Moscow in 2014. Russia launched a major invasion of Ukraine on her February 24th of this year.

Independent news site Ukraiska Pravda reported on Tuesday that the United States had proposed a peace deal to the Kremlin. Russia will withdraw from all Ukrainian territories except Crimea in seven years. In return, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will agree not to integrate Ukraine as a member state for the same seven years.

“We cannot repeat 2014 with the proposal to trade Crimea for a stable peace. Sadly, the Western elite will need time to understand this,” said Podoljak, who was in the center of Kyiv. “The elite believe that all red lines have been crossed in this war and that compromise decisions are impossible.” We should be aware of something.”

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhail Podlyak speaks to AFP in Kyiv.GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images

After Russia’s seizure of Crimea, known only to Cuba, Nicaragua and Syria, Moscow sparked an eight-year proxy war in the Donbass region of southeastern Ukraine, despite a pair of ceasefire agreements known as the Minsk Agreement. Podoljak said the “mutual hatred” created by the 2022 invasion and the exposure of hundreds of apparent Russian war crimes committed since then made a third Minsk agreement impossible. .

Western politicians Russian President Putin Threatening to use nuclear weapons if territories he considers part of Russia come under attack. Some leaders are still clinging to the pre-war mindset of seeing Russia as an important member of international organizations and are calling for a return to the previous state.

“They will not allow Russia to use traditional means, immigration, nuclear threats, election interference, political assassination. The fact that true security will only be possible if Russia is defeated. should be accepted,” said Podoljak. .

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Instead of negotiations, Ukraine has announced its intention to expel Russian forces from all its territory, including Crimea. Ukrainian forces have reportedly landed this week at the Kinburn Spit, which could serve as a launch pad for an offensive into Crimea. Air raid sirens blared on Tuesday over the strategic port city of Sevastopol, the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

“Our air defenses are working now,” said Russian-incumbent Sevastopol governor Mikhail Razvodjayev in a social media post.

Sending more weapons to Ukraine — Podryak named anti-aircraft missiles as the country’s biggest need, followed by artillery, multiple-launch rocket systems and drones — to speed up the process of driving out all Russian troops. Ukrainian territory is a prerequisite for Kyiv to any negotiations with Moscow, he said.

Eleven days after the Ukrainian flag was raised in the southern city of Kherson, Podoljak made defiant statements, ending the 256-day Russian occupation of the capital. This was Ukraine’s third major victory in the war, following the successful defense of Kyiv and the liberation of the eastern Kharkov region.

Russian forces, which rapidly gained strength in the first weeks of the invasion, still control about 17% of Ukraine’s territory before 2014, including most of Crimea and Donbass, as well as southern Kherson and Zaporizhia regions. includes part of

A portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin lies on the ground near the local prison in Kherson.Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press

Russia has responded to battlefield setbacks with waves of missiles and drone strikes targeting civilian infrastructure. Kyiv, like many parts of the country, has struggled to provide basic services to its citizens, with most residents of the capital receiving electricity for 12 hours a day due to freezing temperatures. I’m here.

Ukrainian government officials said this week that nearly every power plant in the country has been under attack since the civil war began, and residents should prepare for rolling blackouts that will last until at least March.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization warned of a looming humanitarian disaster. “This winter will be life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine,” said Hans Kluge, WHO’s Regional Director for Europe. “Half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed.

But Podlyak said attacks on electricity, water and heating systems would not force Ukraine to the negotiating table. “We have to win this war,” he said. “In case anyone in the West doesn’t understand this: freeze if it has to be frozen.”

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