Putin has proposed talks with Ukraine as a pretext to prepare for a new stage of the war.
On 17 August, President Lukashenko of Belarus once again said that negotiations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation are necessary and that the goals of the "special operation" launched by Russia have allegedly already been achieved. This is the third statement of this kind voiced by Lukashenko during the summer of this year. The two previous ones took place in June and July, respectively. Lukashenko is unlikely to voice such words of his own volition: it is an instruction dictated from the Kremlin. Putin has failed in this war and is desperate for a tactical pause that will allow him to accumulate the necessary resources to continue the war. In this respect, for Ukraine any negotiations with a terrorist state would be disastrous: a pause in hostilities will in no way end the war. It will be a pause before a much bloodier and more destructive Russian offensive that risks extending beyond Ukraine's borders.
The Ukrainian armed forces have liberated the settlements of Urozhayne and Rabotino in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, which had been under Russian occupation since February 2022. As a consequence, all Russian defences in the occupied territories of Donetsk region may collapse - the Russians have built well-fortified fortifications only in the part of Zaporizhzhia region they hold, and to a lesser extent in Kherson region. This forces Putin to look for new reserves with which the Russian army will try to hold back the onslaught of the Ukrainian armed forces. For this sake, proposals for ceasefire talks are being voiced, but in reality the Kremlin just needs a tactical pause.
Russia must be stopped in Ukraine. Putin's full-scale war of conquest against a sovereign state has shattered any illusions about the possibility of peaceful dialogue with the Russian Federation. A pause in hostilities would indulge the aggressor and trigger a repeat offensive by the Russian army, which will inevitably happen if it accumulates enough weapons and properly trains its mobilised forces. Putin must suffer a crushing defeat and withdraw from Ukraine - this is the only way to end Russia's cyclical territorial expansion, which is a threat to the civilised world.
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