The Ukrainian government has ruled out the prospect of a ceasefire or any territorial concessions to Russia.
The decision not to offer a cease-fire or concessions in order to end Russian President Vladimir Putin’s continuing invasion of Ukraine came as Russian military stepped up their offensive in the Donbas region of Ukraine and the Russian government announced it would suspend gas deliveries to Finland, according to The New York Post.
The situation in Donbas is, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is “extremely difficult.” He made it clear to his constituents that while the Russian army tries to capture Sloviansk and Sievierodonetsk, Ukraine’s troops will dig in and fight off the invasion.
In the southeastern city of Mariupol, Russian forces were able to endure the weekslong resistance by Ukrainian troops. Whoever controls Mariupol has strategic access to vital waterways.
With control of Mariupol, Russia will also have command over land routes linking the Crimean Peninsula with mainland Russia and other areas of eastern Ukraine that are important to the Russian government.
Russian forces are launching a large-scale offensive in Luhansk, Ukraine’s Donbas region. The Russian-backed separatists already controlled significant parts of Luhansk and neighboring Donetsk. According to new reports, the Russian government plans to take control of the remaining Ukrainian-controlled areas in Donbas and annex it by force.
According to an adviser to Zelenskyy, Mykhailo Podolyak, a ceasefire with Russia is out of the question because Ukrainian officials would not agree to any deal that involves territory being transferred. Podolyak believes that offering concessions to Russia would prompt Russia to renew its aggression against Ukraine after the conflict ends.
“The war will not end (after concessions are made) because it is too important for them,” Podolyak stated in a recent interview. “It will be put on hold for a time. Then they will begin another offensive, even more violent and massive.”
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Italian PM Mario Draghi have both issued statements calling for a ceasefire. The remarks made by Poroshenko contradict those comments.