(AP Photo/Leo Correa, file)
The war in uncharted waters after the announcement of the withdrawal of Russian forces • What the Ukrainians fear for Kherson, what Moscow responds to • The division within NATO is behind the pressure on Zelensky to conduct negotiations.
While the Russian forces continue Leaving the city and its surroundingsKyiv is in no hurry to celebrate and is taking a wait-and-see attitude.
Ukrainian forces may be advancing near the strategically important city, but Moscow has not officially announced that they will leave the area, while there are also estimates that it may be a distraction.
The statements of Volodymyr Zelensky’s adviser, Mikhailo Podolak, are typical, as he claimed that there is information that Russian forces are besieging buildings, sewers and other infrastructure with explosives and mines in order to turn Kherson into a “city of death”.
On the contrary, the Russian media broadcast statements of the appointed commander of the region, Vladimir Saldo, in which he indicates that Russia can defend and protect all the territory of the region.
According to him, “The situation at the front is turbulent and the leadership was forced to take these decisions. But we all know that justice will be restored, because it is worth fighting for. We know that everything we are doing is for a just cause.”
Local authorities have been informed that civilians are still able to leave the area, but will have to do so by special means, as the organized evacuation has now stopped. At the same time, the passage to the west bank of the Dnieper was closed for security reasons.
Chersona’s “Prize” and the consequences
There may be moderate optimism in the Ukrainian camp about developments in Kherson, but for Russia and Vladimir Putin’s war, these developments represent a new stage in the war.
Kherson was the first major city captured by Russian forces since the beginning of the war, but it was also the only regional capital, while its strategic location gives it a great advantage for controlling the Black Sea, and at the same time it was until recently a key landing point for Russian forces fighting in the south.
His loss would be a blow to the prestige of the Russian president and to the military operation, but on the contrary, Moscow might turn its attention elsewhere.
Operationally, the armed forces realized that it would be extremely difficult to resupply the forces located on the western bank of the Dnieper, while the withdrawal could allow Moscow to maintain other front lines in southern and eastern Ukraine.
However, taking back Kherson would put Russia’s Crimea within range of US-supplied Ukrainian guided missile systems and HIMARS missiles.
However, Vladimir Putin has not publicly spoken about these decisions and seems to be keeping his distance until Shoigu and Sorovikin are the recipients of criticism on the home front.
Division within NATO?
More optimistic about developments this afternoon conservative. From NATO, which said that “Russia is under suffocating pressure and if they leave Kherson it will be another great victory for Ukraine.”
However, the situation within the alliance may not be so “rosy”, as a Turkish publication talks about the division in member states, while the United States does not seem to have the same influence as in the past.
Cumhuriyet newspaper publishes a report that refers extensively to US reports that Washington is pressuring Zelensky to announce his readiness to return to the negotiating table. After all, the Ukrainian president reiterated on Monday that it is Open for discussion, but with specific conditions set.
According to the newspaper’s analysis, “The United States does not have the same influence on its allies, and the war in Ukraine has shown this. Germany is trying to improve its relations with Russia and China despite American objections. From North Korea to Iran, from Syria to Cuba, many countries are resisting the United States. As The tense relations of the Americans with Saudi Arabia are well known.”
He went on to say, “The United States does not have the power to impose order on this planet and introduce new rules. The American security doctrine is very subjective and selfish.”
It should also be noted that Politico also reported that the US government is asking Zelensky to lift his refusal to hold talks with Putin from the conditions he laid out in Monday’s announcements, and the Ukrainian president did just that.
Politico notes that this new position “was the result of warnings from the Biden administration” and comes after a long series of discussions between Kyiv and Washington. American officials reportedly did not ask Zelensky to change his position entirely, but to show the world that he was ready to end the war peacefully. Moreover, the United States does not believe that negotiations should begin immediately.
It is indicated that last week, Washington Post article She reported that the White House asked Zelensky to pretend that he was open to negotiations in order to continue the EU’s support for Ukraine.
To all this, Moscow, through the Foreign Minister, replies that the Russian leadership is still ready to continue talks with Ukraine and that it expects the West to make proposals to organize the negotiations.
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