Putin: We're Ready for Talks

Attacks on Ukraine continue, though he says Moscow is 'prepared to negotiate'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 25, 2022 1:31 PM CST
Putin: We're Ready for Talks
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with leadership of military-industrial complex enterprises in Tula, Russia, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022.   (Russian Presidential Press Office, Sputnik Pool Photo via AP)

President Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia is ready for talks to end the war in Ukraine even as the country faced more attacks from Moscow—a clear sign that peace wasn't imminent, per the AP. Putin said in a state television interview, excerpts of which were released on Sunday afternoon, that Russia is “prepared to negotiate some acceptable outcomes with all the participants of this process.” He said that “it's not us who refuse talks, it's them"—something the Kremlin has repeatedly stated in recent months as its 10-month old invasion kept losing momentum.

Putin also repeated that Moscow has “no other choice” and said he believed the Kremlin was “acting in the right direction" with the war. “We're defending our national interests, the interests of our citizens, our people,” he said. Putin's remarks come as attacks on Ukraine continue. A country-wide air raid alert was announced twice on Sunday alone, and three missiles in the afternoon hit the city of Kramatorsk in the partially occupied Donetsk region, local officials reported.

Elsewhere in the front-line region, around the city of Bakhmut, where fierce battles have been underway in recent weeks, the Russian forces were struggling to keep up the pace of their offensive, a US-based think tank reported this weekend. “Russian forces’ rate of advance in the Bakhmut area has likely slowed in recent days, although it is too early to assess whether the Russian offensive to capture Bakhmut has culminated,” the Institute for the Study of War wrote in its recent update. Putin recently used the word "war" for the first time to describe the conflict.

(More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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