The apparent willingness to entertain negotiations at some point drew harsh criticism from some foreign policy experts, who argued that it would be a mistake to bet on Ukraine’s ability to do so. regained much of its territory from the Russian occupiers.
“The United States and its European partners should not hinder the possibility, or even the likelihood, of further success of the Ukrainian military by insisting on a ceasefire in place or assuming that Ukraine cannot, for example, liberate Donbas or even Crimea,” said Daniel Fried, a longtime former diplomat at the Atlantic Council, wrote on Just Security website after reporting on possible negotiations.
Zelensky and his aides reiterated this week that Ukraine has repeatedly offered to resume peace talks with Russia and that such talks will not be able to begin until Russian troops are withdrawn. Go and return the territory they have taken. But analysts note that the Ukrainian leader did not repeat earlier claims that negotiations are unlikely to begin while Putin is leading Russia.
More broadly, there was tremendous support among the Ukrainian public for the continued military strikes against Russian positions, and each announcement of Russian defeat was received with great enthusiasm by the Ukrainian public. general public. Even before the recent Ukrainian military wave, Mr. Zelensky was under heavy and constant political pressure to refuse any concessions that would put Russian forces in control of Ukrainian territory.
In internal discussions, General Milley was a strong voice on diplomacy but did not want to give the impression of demeaning Ukrainians, officials said. He pointed to satellite imagery showing the Russians digging trenches and establishing strong lines through much of the occupied territory in preparation for winter, when the fronts would presumably stabilize.
The general argued that hostilities could ease during the cold months, officials said, with less chance of fundamental change in fact, providing an opening for negotiations. During discussions at the White House, he cited World War I when the two sides engaged in years of war with little changed territory but millions of meaningless casualties, an example he also shared. spoke in a speech in New York this week.
Officials said the general’s view was not to reward Putin, but it is possible that this is the moment when Ukraine and its allies can start working towards a political solution because a military solution can may not be achieved in the near future.