RUSSIA: Hesitancy to Scale Back Despite Peace Talks Will Likely Prolong Conflict

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Summary: Since the beginning of the Russian-Ukraine crisis, government officials have attempted to negotiate an end to the relentless invasion of Ukraine. Russian attacks have not significantly regressed, likely leaving Kyiv ready for further incursions.

Development: On 30 March, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin began taking strides towards compromise regarding the unattainable demands Moscow placed on Kyiv. These demands originally included no association with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the protection of Russian language within Ukraine, recognition of Crimea as Russia, and the independence of Eastern Ukrainian regions Donetsk and Luhansk, according to VOX News. Recent events revealed negotiations between Putin and Zelenskyy, like Ukraine agreeing to remain independent of NATO and Russia conceding to the withdrawal of military presence in major Ukrainian cities. Despite minimal reduction in military activity in certain areas of Ukraine, shelling and military strikes continue near Kyiv and other large cities.

Analysis: Putin’s disregard for his promise of military withdrawal likely indicates that any further negotiation for peace is futile attempt by Zelenskyy. Moscow failing to halt military operations in central Ukraine probably indicates Putin’s lack of sincerity for all future negotiations, drawing the war out to what will most likely be a bloody end.

[Dalia Haase]

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