Reuters: When war broke out, Putin rejected peace deal with Ukraine recommended by his adviser

At the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin’s adviser A Temporary peace agreement with KievBut the Kremlin leader refused and continued to bomb neighboring territory.

Vladimir Putin’s ambassador to Ukraine told the Russian leader at the start of the war that he had reached a tentative deal with Kiev that would meet Russia’s demand that Ukraine leave NATO, but Putin overruled him and continued the military campaign. According to the published information, three people close to the Russian leadership Reuters.

Ambassador of Ukrainian descent, Dmitry Kozak (right photo), told Putin, according to these sources, that he believed the deal he had reached eliminated the need for Russia to continue a full-scale occupation of Ukraine. Reuters first reported Cossack’s recommendation to Putin to accept the deal.

Putin repeatedly insisted before the war that NATO and its military infrastructure were moving closer to Russia’s borders by accepting new members from Eastern Europe, and that the alliance was now preparing to bring Ukraine to its doorstep. Putin publicly stated that this was a real threat to Russia, forcing him to react.

But despite earlier backing the talks, Putin made it clear when Cossack’s contract was awarded to him that his advisers had not gone far enough in negotiating grievances and had broadened his goals of annexing parts of Ukrainian territory. Result: Contract abandoned.

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Boris Nadezhdin

The Kremlin denied the report by Reuters

Asked about Reuters’ findings, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “This has nothing to do with reality. This never happened. This is completely false information.”

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Cossack, on the other hand, did not respond to requests for comment sent through the Kremlin.

Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, said Russia was using the talks as a smokescreen to prepare its invasion. “Today, we clearly understand that the Russian side was never interested in a peaceful solutionPodoliak said.

Two of the three sources say there was a push to finalize the deal immediately after the February 24 Russian invasion. Within days, Kozak believed he had Ukraine’s agreement on key terms Russia wanted and recommended Putin sign a deal, the sources said.

After February 24, Cossack was given carte blanche: they gave him the green light; Got the deal. He brought it back and they told him to go. All were cancelled. Putin changed the plan along the way“, said one of the sources close to the Russian leadership.

A third source – briefed on the events by people briefed on negotiations between Cossacks and Putin – denied timing, saying that Cossacks had proposed the deal to Putin and that he had been rejected before the invasion. All sources were asked to remain anonymous to share sensitive inside information.

Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine is the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II. This prompted economic sanctions against Russia and military support for Ukraine from Washington and its Western allies.

Even if Putin had agreed to the Cossacks’ plan, it remains uncertain whether the war would have ended. Reuters could not independently verify whether Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or senior officials in his government had committed to the deal.

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Putin’s loyal lieutenant

Kozak, 63, has been Putin’s loyal lieutenant since working at St. Petersburg City Hall in the 1990s.

Starting in 2020, Putin tasked him with holding talks with his Ukrainian counterparts over the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, which was seized by Russian-backed separatists in 2014. The Russian delegation that held talks with Ukrainian officials in Berlin on February 10 – brokered by France and Germany – Kozak told a nightly press conference that the latest round of talks had ended without any progress.

Three days before the invasion, Kozak was also present when Putin convened his military and defense chiefs and top advisers for a meeting of Russia’s Security Council in the Kremlin’s Ekaterinsky Hall.

State television cameras recorded part of the meeting where Putin presented plans to officially recognize separatist organizations in eastern Ukraine.

After the cameras were removed from the room, Kozak spoke out against Russia taking any steps to escalate the situation with Ukraine, said two of the three people close to the Russian leadership, as well as a third person with knowledge of what happened who attended. meeting

Another person interviewed by Reuters who helped with the post-invasion talks said talks broke down in early March when Ukrainian officials understood Putin was determined to proceed with a full-scale invasion.

Six months after the start of the war, Cossack is the deputy head of the Kremlin. But he is no longer handling the Ukraine file, six sources who spoke to Reuters said.

“As far as I can see, the Cossacks are nowhere to be found,” said one of the six people close to the separatist leadership in eastern Ukraine.

An excerpt from the article:

War in Ukraine, Day 203. Success of Ukrainian counteroffensive marks a “turning point” in Kharkiv

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