Russia is seeking a “short truce” – a proposal Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vehemently dismissed as it would allow Moscow’s forces to regain strength after suffering a series of battlefield defeats.
Officials in Russia have repeatedly said they were ready to engage in peace talks without any conditions, but it is not clear if they have made a formal ceasefire offer as mentioned by Zelenskyy.
“Russia is now looking for a short truce, a respite to regain strength. Someone may call this the war’s end, but such a respite will only worsen the situation,” the Ukrainian leader said.
“A truly real, long-lasting and honest peace can only be the result of the complete demolition of Russian aggression.”
The United States has said only Zelenskyy can decide when to open peace talks with Russia, rejecting the notion it was pressing Kyiv to negotiate an end to the nearly nine-month war sparked by Moscow’s invasion.
General Mark Milley, the top US military officer, said this week that while Ukraine has achieved key battlefield successes, Moscow still controls 20 percent of the country, and it is unlikely Kyiv’s troops will force the Russians out any time soon.
Ukraine regained control of the strategically important city of Kherson in the south last week. It had been occupied by Russian troops since the beginning of the war in late February.