In his article published by the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Frederick W. Kagan, Director of the Critical Threats Project that supports ISW’s daily reporting on the war in Ukraine, argues that “Negotiations cannot end the Russian war against Ukraine; they can only pause it.”
“The renewed Russian invasion in February 2022 after eight years of deadly “ceasefire” following the first Russian invasions of 2014 demonstrates that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not rest until he has conquered Kyiv. Ukraine’s resistance to the invasion this year shows that Ukrainians will not easily surrender. The conflict is unresolvable as long as Putinism rules the Kremlin. Negotiations won’t change that reality. They can only create the conditions from which Putin or a Putinist successor will contemplate renewing the attack on Ukraine’s independence. Before pressing Ukraine to ask Russia for talks we must examine the terms Ukraine might offer Russia, the dangers of offering those terms, and, more importantly, the likelihood that Putin would accept them,” the article reads.
Mr. Kagan says that Russian-occupied Crimea, Luhansk, and Donetsk weren’t enough for Putin when he re-invaded Ukraine in February:
“Offering him a return to a situation so unsatisfactory to him that he launched a massive invasion to change is not a face-saving off-ramp.”
He notes that allowing Russia to keep some or all the Ukrainian territory it currently holds “condemns millions of Ukrainians to the ongoing Kremlin efforts to Russify them; to identify, torture, and kill people who still give their allegiance to Kyiv; to abduct Ukrainian children and adopt them forcibly into Russian families; and to continue the ethnic cleansing campaign Putin is pursuing to eliminate the Ukrainian national identity everywhere he can.”
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