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Wide rift in Russia, talks with Ukraine could mean protracted war in Putin’s favor: experts say


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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Poutine are far apart at the negotiating table, with both sides demanding concessions deemed non-starting by the other side, which could be an advantage for Putin, experts told Fox News.

Rebekah Koffler, a former US intelligence agent and author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” told Fox News Digital that Ukraine’s desire to strike a security deal with other countries in the framework of ending the war is a demand that Russia will not make. accept.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a cabinet meeting via video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 23, 2022.
(Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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“Putin will not agree to this,” Koffler said, adding his assessment is that Ukraine is also unwilling to give in to Putin’s reported demand that Ukraine cede Crimea and the breakaway regions of Donbass. .

Shortly after Koffler spoke with Fox News Digital, Zelenskyy acknowledged that ceding Ukrainian territory to Russia was not an option he would consider.

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“We do not trade our territory”, Zelenskyy Recount Fox News’ Bret Baier via translator in an exclusive interview. “The question of territorial integrity and sovereignty is out of discussion.”

Wide rift in Russia, talks with Ukraine could mean protracted war in Putin’s favor: experts say

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, walks ahead of a meeting with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, April 1, 2022.
(Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

“The bottom line is that these positions are irreconcilable,” Koffler explained.

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, chairman of the London Center for Policy Research, agreed with Koffler’s assessment that both sides are asking for non-participants in the negotiation and told Fox News Digital that Putin will not accept not Ukraine’s demand that a security agreement between the major powers protect Ukraine in the future be implemented.

“I think you can see the Russians continuing for another two weeks to reposition things,” Shaffer said. “So I just don’t think they’re going to negotiate seriously until they’ve solidified what they’re doing, and they just might get back on the offensive at least one more time before it’s all over before they are willing to really negotiate.”

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Additionally, Shaffer said he did not believe Zelenskyy would agree to any demands from Putin to cede territory.

I don’t know,” Shaffer said when asked if he plans for Ukraine to cede land to Russia. “This is what Ukraine depends on for its future prosperity. So it’s going to be really important for Ukraine so no, I think it’s a failure for them too.”

Wide rift in Russia, talks with Ukraine could mean protracted war in Putin’s favor: experts say

A dog is seen in the middle of a street as Ukrainian army soldiers take part in a military search for possible remnants of Russian troops after they withdrew from villages on the outskirts of kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday 1st April 2022.
(AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Shaffer and Koffler told Fox News that the standoff between the two sides benefits Putin who is prepared and better equipped for a protracted conflict.

“It’s going to be a long, protracted, continuous, protracted conflict and Putin can afford to do that,” Koffler said.

Shaffer told Fox News that Putin “absolutely” has the stomach for a protracted conflict.

“Putin still has a lot of capacity,” Shaffer said. “He’s going to shake things up, so in any protracted conflict, I think the advantage goes to Putin without any support for NATO expansion in Zelenskyy.”

Fox News anchor Bret Baier spoke with Zelenskyy on Friday and shared his belief after the interview that the Ukrainian leader is indeed concerned that Russia is getting into a long battle.

“The fear is that Russia is trying to dig in and have fortified positions,” Baier said. “That they keep fair and that without the heavy weapons he cannot effectively repel them. That ultimately his biggest worry is that the West will forget Ukraine and that they will turn the chapter and that Russia benefits.” .”

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