Putin Says He Wants Peace In Ukraine But On Russia’s Own Terms

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President Vladimir Putin said Russia doesn’t want to fight “endlessly” in Ukraine but won’t give up its positions and is ready for peace only on its own terms.

Speaking in televised comments on Monday during a visit to a military hospital, Putin said he’s satisfied with the Russian army’s performance in Ukraine as it’s now holding the strategic initiative on the front, while the opponent is “gradually deflating.” Russia is currently occupying about a fifth of Ukraine’s territory.

“We also want to end the conflict, and as soon as possible” — but “only on our terms,” Putin said. The Russian leader didn’t specify what conditions must be met for peace.

The Kremlin’s confidence has grown amid political divisions in the US and the European Union over support to Ukraine that’s held up aid to the government in Kyiv. Ukraine’s counteroffensive launched in June yielded only small gains, and Russian troops are now trying to press forward in Ukraine’s eastern regions of Donetsk and Kharkiv.

Putin once again blamed Western elites for the war in Ukraine, which he started almost two years ago.

“It’s not that they are helping our adversary,” he said when asked about Western aid to Ukraine. “They are our adversary.”

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