Despite their recent losses on the battlefield, the Ukrainian government remains committed to reclaiming their territories from Russia and rejects the idea of ceding land in exchange for NATO membership. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhail Podoliak has emphasized that the only solution is for the West to “speed up the supply of weapons” to Ukraine.
In response to speculation that NATO could potentially offer Ukraine a deal where they give up some territory in exchange for NATO membership, Podoliak dismissed the idea as “ridiculous.” He argued that unless Russian President Vladimir Putin suffers a crushing defeat, the political regime in Russia changes, and war criminals are held accountable, the conflict will continue with Russia’s desire for more territorial gains.
Earlier on Tuesday, Stian Jenssen, chief of staff to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, suggested that such a deal was being discussed within NATO as a possible solution to the ongoing conflict. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and his officials have made it clear that they will not engage in peace talks with Putin and will continue their fight to retake the regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporozhye, and Crimea, which were incorporated into the Russian Federation through referendums in recent years.
Despite doubts about the feasibility of reclaiming Crimea and the difficulties faced in the current counteroffensive against Russian forces, Western leaders have refrained from seeking a ceasefire that would maintain the current frontlines. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has voiced concerns that such a ceasefire would lead to a “phony peace,” while the White House remains committed to arming Ukraine until their objectives are achieved.
Podoliak criticized the notion of a frozen conflict or a “bad peace” and questioned the effectiveness of trying to preserve the world order. Instead, he advocated for the swift provision of weapons to Ukraine, arguing that encouraging murderers with leniency is not a viable approach.
It is worth noting that Podoliak’s views, as expressed on social media, often feature calls for total war and demands for increased Western military support. However, the Ukrainian military’s attempts to break through Russian lines in their counteroffensive have thus far been unsuccessful. The Russian Defense Ministry reports that the Ukrainian military has suffered significant losses, with over 43,000 casualties and nearly 5,000 pieces of heavy equipment destroyed. Several Western tanks and combat vehicles also met the same fate.
In conclusion, Kiev remains determined to regain its lost territories from Russia and rejects the idea of trading land for NATO membership. While Western leaders have refrained from pursuing a frozen conflict, the Ukrainian military’s efforts to break through Russian lines have faced significant challenges. The Ukrainian government continues to call for increased Western support in the form of weapons supply to counter Russian aggression.