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Putin Looking For A Way Out

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Vladimir Putin may finally have had enough. Multiple reports have stated that the Russian leader told other international leaders that the time has come to figure out a way to end the fighting in Ukraine. 

Reuters writes that Russian President Vladimir Putin told the leaders of the Group of Twenty (G20) on Wednesday that it was necessary to think about how to stop “the tragedy” of the war in Ukraine, some of his most placatory remarks to date about the conflict.

Addressing G20 leaders for the first time since the start of the war, the Kremlin chief said some leaders had said in their speeches that they were shocked by the ongoing “aggression” of Russia in Ukraine.

“Yes, of course, military actions are always a tragedy,” Putin told the virtual G20 meeting called by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“And of course, we should think about how to stop this tragedy,” Putin said. “By the way, Russia has never refused peace talks with Ukraine.”

Putin sent his troops into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, claiming that he was “denazifying” the country, an excuse used to conquer the country that used to be a vital part of the USSR. He has more recently blamed Volodymyr Zelensky for the continued violence.

Putin’s calls for peace come as the war in Ukraine has appeared to become a stalemate. United States and Ukrainian officials recently claimed that Russian morale has gotten so low that it has begun executing its own soldiers, threatening entire units with execution for failing to obey orders.

“National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby told reporters last month: “We have information that the Russian military has been actually executing soldiers who refuse to follow orders, we also have information that Russian commanders are threatening to execute entire units if they seek to retreat from Ukrainian artillery fire.”

CNN noted that “Kirby did not provide further details on the claim that Russia was executing its own. Russia has previously been accused of using “barrier troops” to keep soldiers from deserting the front lines.

‘It’s reprehensible to think about – that you would execute your own soldiers, because they didn’t want to follow orders, and now threatening to execute entire units is barbaric,’ he said.

Russia’s mobilized forces in the region ‘remain under-trained, under-equipped and unprepared for combat,’ Kirby said, and have been largely used in what he called ‘human wave tactics’ as it attempts to forge ahead with a renewed offensive.”

Putin may have more personal reasons to look for an off ramp as his grip over the country weakens as his war goes on without much success. 

Newsweek reported earlier in the week, “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that his country has every right to kill his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin if the opportunity arises, if doing so would protect Ukraine and his people.

Zelensky made the remarks in a wide-ranging interview with The Sun in Kyiv, telling the tabloid newspaper that he has lost track of the number of times Moscow has attempted to assassinate him since Putin launched a full-scale invasion of his country in February 2022.

Zelensky said Russia still ‘wants very much’ to oust him from power, and that Moscow has a deadline to do so by the end of 2024.

‘The name of the operation is Maidan 3. It is meant to change the president. It’s bye bye. Maybe it’s not by killing. I mean it’s changing. They will use any instruments they have,’ the Ukrainian president said.”

One way Zelenky will not be removed from power, however, is through democratic means. Despite taking billions of dollars from the United States taxpayer in the name of defending democracy, the Ukrainian president recently canceled elections in his country.

Presidential elections in Ukraine were scheduled to take place every five years, with the next one scheduled for March.

The president had previously tried to use elections as a bargaining chip with the United States, saying that he would only hold the vote if Americans paid for it. 

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