Has the Kremlin finally come to understand the situation they’ve put themselves in, or is Vladimir Putin seeking a swift off-ramp in Ukraine for the sake of saving face?
The answer to that question is not precisely clear as of now, but one thing is for certain: Russia is looking to get back to the negotiating table after 10 months of failure in their unwinnable war.
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed in an interview with state television on Sunday that Moscow wants to negotiate, even as Ukrainian cities were hit with a barrage of missiles over the Christmas weekend.
“We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them – we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are,” Putin said.
Ukraine wasn’t having it.
The claim was rebuffed by Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who said that “Putin needs to come back to reality.”
“Russia single-handedly attacked Ukraine and is killing citizens. There are no other ‘countries, motives, geopolitics,'” Podolyak tweeted. “Russia doesn’t want negotiations, but tries to avoid responsibility.”
Russia’s continued assaults on Ukraine have spurred numerous new war crime accusations, as Putin and his cronies already face a massive docket of acts to answer for in the coming months. Any attempt to end the war on peaceful terms could be construed as an attempt to shirk these dastardly deeds.