Putin Willing To End War Along Current Frontlines

The Ukrainian Foreign Minister said the Russian leader was sending “phony signals”

As Russian forces are capturing more territory in eastern Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin is willing to end the war across the current frontlines, according to Reuters. Ukrainian officials rejected the offer.

Four sources speaking with Reuters said that Putin was prepared to freeze war along the current frontlines but was willing to keep fighting if Ukraine and its Western backers rejected the offer for negotiations. “Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire – to freeze the war,” one source said, describing Putin’s position.

When asked by Reuters about talks, Putin responded, “Let them resume.”

The sources speaking with Reuters say that the Russian leader is prepared to assess the territory that has been captured as a victory. “Putin will say that we won, that NATO attacked us and we kept our sovereignty, that we have a land corridor to Crimea, which is true,” one source said.

The offer for an end to the conflict comes as Ukraine struggles to find enough men to fight off the advancing Russian forces, and the West is unable or unwilling to provide Kiev with enough arms.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba quickly dismissed the idea of negotiations with Russia. “Putin currently has no desire to end his aggression against Ukraine. Only the principled and united voice of the global majority can force him to choose peace over war,” he said.

Since the start of the war in 2022, Russia has captured and annexed four regions in southern and eastern Ukraine. In April of that year, Moscow and Kiev nearly inked a deal that would have allowed those four regions to remain part of Ukraine in exchange for Kiev’s neutrality. However, President Zelensky, encouraged by his Western backers, refused the deal.

Zelensky later signed a decree banning any negotiations with Putin’s government.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of Antiwar.com, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.