World News

Putin Offers Ceasefire To Ukraine — But Makes Exhaustive Demands For Deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday he is ready to make a ceasefire deal with Ukraine, but gave a list of demands for a deal Kyiv was unsatisfied with.

Russia has had the upper hand in its two-year war against Ukraine, making gains along eastern Europe and exhausting Ukrainian force’s manpower and armaments. Putin would order a ceasefire in Ukraine and start peace negotiations, so long as Kyiv withdraws all of its forces from four major regions in Eastern Ukraine and surrenders them to Russia, according to Russian state media.

“Today we are making another concrete, real peace proposal,” Putin said, according to Russian-state media. “If Kyiv and Western capitals refuse it … this is their business, their political and moral responsibility to continue the bloodshed. Obviously, the realities on the ground, on the line of engagement will continue to change, and not in favor of the Kiev regime. The conditions for the start of negotiations will change.”

Putin also made other demands, including that Kyiv recognize Crimea — a region of Ukraine annexed by Russia in 2014 — as Russian territory. He said Ukraine must remain a non-nuclear country, limit its military forces and abandon its goal of joining the NATO alliance; Western nations also must lift their sanctions against Russia, according to The Associated Press.

Kyiv immediately rejected the deal on Friday, citing that the terms of the deal were “manipulative” and “absurd” and meant to “mislead the international community, undermine diplomatic efforts aimed at achieving a just peace, and split the unity of the world majority,” according to the AP. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted the deal at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Italy on Friday, per Reuters.

“These are ultimatum messages that are no different from messages from the past,” Zelenskyy said on the sidelines of the summit, claiming that Russia would not abide by the agreement even if Kyiv accepted it, according to Reuters. “He will not stop. It is the same thing that Hitler used to do … This is why we should not trust these messages.”

The U.S. and West have rallied behind Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in 2022, providing political, economic and military support; the U.S. alone has provided roughly $175 billion in aid for Ukrainian and European security. Even with Western aid, however, Ukraine has struggled to repel Russian forces, which have largely recovered their losses initially sustained in the war.

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Jake Smith

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