“Russia will only negotiate when Ukraine is no more than conquered Russian territory”

The war in Ukraine has entered a phase of stalemate. What are the immediate consequences of the continuation of the conflict and what scenarios can we expect?

After the fall of Avdiivka, the Russians gained about 10 kilometers of territory. Now they would like to advance towards Pokrovsk, a town about 60 kilometers from Avdiivka, and eventually take it. It is an important logistics center for Ukrainian armed forces in the Donetsk region. It would be a huge success for Putin to win it. The ultimate goal may be for Russia to capture Kharkiv, a city near the Russian border that is vulnerable to a surprise attack.

If half of Ukraine’s territory was captured by Russia and the other half was regained by Ukraine, would it be beneficial for Moscow to negotiate under these conditions?

I take what Putin said seriously. He is willing to negotiate as long as the so-called Nazis around President Zelensky are overthrown from power and the entire Ukraine is denazified and neutralized, that is, it becomes nothing more than conquered Russian territory. Such extreme conditions can be imposed on a war-torn country. However, this did not happen in Ukraine. He was not defeated. Therefore, I do not believe that Russia will negotiate. Neither would Ukraine. It must regain its sovereignty. The horror will surely continue until the West gives the Ukrainians the tools they need to win.

Does the Ukrainian withdrawal from Avdivka, the largest Russian advance in a year, represent a turning point and evidence of the failure of Western support?

The withdrawal from Avdiivka is a victory for Putin. From a military perspective, it could be a Pyrrhic victory. The price Russia paid for the capture of Avdiivka was 16,000 dead and hundreds of destroyed armored vehicles. In the 1980s, the Soviet Union fought a war in Afghanistan and lost “only” 14,000 soldiers. This “victory” is a sign of Putin and his people’s blatant disregard for the lives of their soldiers.

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Can Ukraine still win the war? The survival of Zelensky’s troops without US military support is uncertain.

Yes you can. However, it would be necessary to get the right tools. Rockets like the German-made Taurus would be crucial. It flies just 35 meters above the ground and can reach targets at a distance of 500 km. If some of them are brought to Ukraine, the Kerch Bridge will no longer exist. It would be a good start for the liberation of Crimea.

Will the European elections in June and especially the US elections in November determine the future of the conflict?

Both elections will be extremely important. I can only hope that at least some of Donald Trump’s absurd statements have alerted American voters to the danger that his second term in the White House would pose.

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