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Putin again lists unrealistic conditions for peace in Ukraine: end of Western sanctions, AFU pullout from Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson

Russian President Vladimir Putin has listed the conditions under which Moscow would be open to starting peace talks with Kyiv, and once again, the Kremlin’s position is unrealistically maximalist. “Today Russia is making another realistic peace proposal, and if the West and Kyiv refuse, they will be responsible for the continuing bloodshed,” he said. Here are the prerequisites Putin listed:

  • Ukrainian troops must be completely withdrawn from the territory of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republics,” along with the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine;
  • Ukraine must commit not to join NATO;
  • Ukraine must maintain a neutral, non-aligned, and non-nuclear status;
  • All Western sanctions against Russia must be lifted;
  • Ukraine must accept limitations on the amount of manpower and materiel in its armed forces.

Putin’s demand that Ukrainian forces withdraw from fortified defensive positions located on internationally recognized Ukrainian territory is perhaps the clearest indication that the Kremlin still does not seek peace on realistic terms.

A Ukrainian counteroffensive in the fall of 2022 liberated the city of Kherson from Russian occupation, and in Zaporizhzhia, Russian forces have never occupied the regional capital. In both areas, Ukraine has spent months building up fortifications aimed at preventing any potential future Russian advance. And in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Ukrainian forces continue to wage a defensive struggle in order to prevent Russia’s occupation from spreading.

Mykhailo Podolyak, Adviser to the Head of the Office of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, was quick to react to Putin's list, saying:

“There are no new 'peace proposals' from #Russia. Putin the entity has voiced only the 'standard aggressor's set', which has been heard many times already. Its content is quite specific, highly offensive to international law and speaks absolutely eloquently about the incapacity of the current Russian leadership to adequately assess realities.
Point by point, the 'proposal of the Russian Federation' looks like this:
1. Give us your territories.
2. Give up your sovereignty and your subjectivity.
3. Leave yourselves unprotected (no membership in alliances).
4. Lift (together with Western countries) all sanctions in full and immediately so that we can fill our militarized economy and make more investments in information provocations around the world.
Most importantly, 5. Let's urgently fix the 'not/failure of Russia' at the expense of #Ukraine.”

Of course, there is no novelty in this, no real peace proposals and no desire to end the war. But there is a desire not to pay for this war and to continue it in new formats. It's all a complete sham. Therefore - once again - get rid of illusions and stop taking seriously the «proposals of Russia» that are offensive to common sense...

On 5 June, Putin stated that 1,348 Russian soldiers and officers remained in Ukrainian captivity, while Russia was holding 6,465 Ukrainian prisoners of war.

He also assessed the ratio between the irrecoverable losses — i.e. those killed in action — of Russia and Ukraine as “approximately one to five” (without providing the exact figures). Commenting on military mobilization efforts in Ukraine, Putin asserted that the collection of measures taken by Kyiv “does not solve personnel problems,” claiming that that the Ukrainian side was losing about 50,000 troops each month.

On June 7, Putin assured the nation that Russia had “no need for mobilization,” stating in response to a question from Sergei Karaganov, the plenary session moderator at the St.Petersburg International Economic Forum, that “We have no such plans.” According to Putin, the Russian army in Ukraine was in the process of “squeezing the enemy” from territories “that should be put under our control.”

Putin also said that the Russian Armed Forces had managed to draft 300,000 people during the mobilization effort in 2022 and that in 2023, over 300,000 Russians signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense “without any mobilization.” Again according to the Russian president, the trend has continued into 2024, with another 160,000 enlisting in Russia’s armed forces since the beginning of the year.

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