President Vladimir Putin asserted that Russia is prepared for negotiations to end the conflict in Ukraine even though Kiev continued to come under attack from Moscow, indicating that a settlement was not close.
Putin stated that Russia is “willing to negotiate some acceptable conclusions with all the parties in this process” in a state television interview from which snippets were made public on Sunday afternoon.
In response to the Kremlin’s 10-month-old invasion losing ground, Putin said, “it’s not us who refuse discussions, it’s them.”
This is a claim the Kremlin has made frequently in recent months.
Putin reaffirmed that there is “no other choice” for Moscow and declared that he thought the Kremlin was “acting in the correct direction.”
He declared that we’re defending our people’s, citizens’, and nation’s interests.
Putin’s comments come as Ukraine is still being attacked. Three missiles were fired towards the city of Kramatorsk in the partially seized Donetsk area in the afternoon, according to local authorities, and an air raid alert was twice issued for the entire nation on Sunday alone.
The missiles struck the city’s industrial district, but no one was hurt, according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the Ukrainian governor of Donetsk.
According to Kyrylenko, six rounds of shelling were also directed at Avdiivka on Sunday, and a woman was injured there.
A U.S.-based research group said this weekend that the Russian forces were having difficulty maintaining the pace of their attack in other areas of the frontline region, including the area near Bakhmut, where severe clashes have been occurring recently.
The Institute for the Study of War recently updated its report, noting that “Russian forces’ rate of advance in the Bakhmut area has likely slowed in recent days, while it is too early to determine whether the Russian operation to conquer Bakhmut has culminated.”
According to the think tank’s sources, recent statements by Russian military bloggers recognized that “Ukrainian forces in the Bakhmut area have managed to modestly slow down the tempo of the Russian advance around Bakhmut and its neighboring communities.”
According to sources on Ukrainian social media, “Russian soldiers were forced out of the eastern fringes of Bakhmut” by Ukrainian forces around Dec. 21, the report said.
The institution concluded that Russian forces “would probably struggle to maintain the tempo of their offensive operations in the Bakhmut area and may want to establish a tactical or operational pause.”
Numerous people were killed and injured the day before in a horrific Russian raid on Kherson, a city in southern Ukraine that Ukrainian forces retook last month.
Russian military fired Ukrainian-controlled portions of the partially occupied Kherson region 71 times in the last 24 hours, including 41 attacks on Kherson itself, according to Yaroslav Yanushevich, the region’s Ukrainian governor.
According to the official, 16 people have died, including three rescue personnel who were murdered while clearing mines from the region’s Berislav district.
Sixty-four additional people have been injured, according to Yanushevich.
Gov. Valentyn Reznichenko reported that severe artillery shelling occurred overnight in the nearby Dnipropetrovsk area, shelling the city of Nikopol.
There have been no recorded casualties.