With Ukraine’s insistence not to negotiate with Russia Unless its forces withdraw from its lands, it does not seem that the solution is close to this conflict, which has now reached its ninth month.
On the other hand, Volodymyr Havrilov, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, announced yesterday evening that his country’s forces may reach the Crimea peninsula controlled by Russia by Christmas (December 25) and end the war by spring.
The retired major general said it is possible that Ukrainian forces will intervene in Crimea by the end of the year.
In addition, he did not rule out the possibility of what is known as the “black swan” theory occurring inside Russia, that is, sudden and unpredictable events in the coming months, perhaps in reference to an unexpected political development that might affect the Kremlin.
end of spring
But he said that even without such an event, the timetable for reaching Crimea is “possible”.
In response to a question whether the war could end by February 24 – the first anniversary of the start of the conflict – he said, “Let’s be realistic, I think it will take some time.”
But he added that he “feels that by the end of spring this war will end!”
For his part, the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Andriy Yermak, confirmed that Moscow had not officially communicated with his country about the possibility of holding peace talks, but stressed that Russian forces must be completely withdrawn before any negotiations take place. “We have not received any official request from the Russian side regarding the negotiations,” he said in an English-language video address to the Halifax International Security Forum.
He also indicated that any talks that are not based on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders will not be “acceptable.”
From Kyiv (archive – France Press)
“a short truce”
These statements came a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ruled out the idea of approving a “short truce” with Russia, saying that it would only lead to an exacerbation of matters.
He also added during the same conference, “A truly real, lasting and sincere peace can only be achieved through the complete elimination of Russian aggression.”
Last Friday, the White House reiterated that Zelensky is the only one who can agree to start negotiations with the Russian side, rejecting the idea of any US pressure on Kyiv in this direction.
Adopting a short truce with Russia will only exacerbate matters
Although the Chief of Staff of the US Army, General Mark Milley, had indicated twice recently that Ukraine’s victories on the battlefield might open a window to start talks for a political solution to the conflict, he returned and indicated, last Wednesday, that it is unlikely, in the long term. At the very least, the short term is for the Ukrainian forces to be able to militarily expel Russia from all the lands it occupies in the country, including Crimea.
It is noteworthy that with the expectation of many countries and experts that this conflict will be prolonged, Washington fears that the resolve of its allies, including European countries, to continue to support Kyiv, financially and militarily, will cool.