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IPFS News Link • Russia

Putin wants Ukraine ceasefire on current frontlines, sources say

• Guy Faulconbridge and Andrew Osborn

Three of the sources, familiar with discussions in Putin's entourage, said the veteran Russian leader had expressed frustration to a small group of advisers about what he views as Western-backed attempts to stymie negotiations and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's decision to rule out talks.

"Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire – to freeze the war," said another of the four, a senior Russian source who has worked with Putin and has knowledge of top level conversations in the Kremlin.

He, like the others cited in this story, spoke on condition of anonymity given the matter's sensitivity.

For this account, Reuters spoke to a total of five people who work with or have worked with Putin at a senior level in the political and business worlds. The fifth source did not comment on freezing the war at the current frontlines.

Asked about the Reuters report at a news conference in Belarus on Friday, Putin said peace talks should restart.

"Let them resume," he said, adding that negotiations should be based on "the realities on the ground" and on a plan agreed during a previous attempt to reach a deal in the first weeks of the war. "Not on the basis of what one side wants," he said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on X that the Russian leader was trying to derail a Ukrainian-initiated peace summit in Switzerland next month by using his entourage to send out "phony signals" about his alleged readiness to halt the war.

"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," said Kuleba.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian presidential adviser, said Putin wanted Western democracies to accept defeat.


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