Over one year since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, there are growing differences between Washington and Kyiv on how to move forward in the conflict, POLITICO reported Sunday.
One issue is over Bakhmut, the eastern Ukrainian city where Russian and Ukrainian forces have been locked in battle for over eight months. Biden administration officials think Ukraine has expended too many resources defending Bakhmut and worry it will impact their ability to launch a counteroffensive this spring, but officials in Kyiv have decided to keep fighting for the city.
Another point of contention is over Crimea as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky insists they will retake the peninsula, which has been under Russian control since 2014 and is populated by people who are happy to be part of the Russian Federation.
While some Biden administration officials have vowed support for Ukrainian attacks on Crimea, the POLITICO report said other US officials believe Zelensky’s insistence that there will be no peace talks until the peninsula is taken will only prolong the war. But publicly, President Biden and other US officials maintain that negotiations will only happen under Kyiv’s terms.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has also acknowledged the risk of escalation that would come with a Ukrainian attempt on Crimea, calling it a “red line” for Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Pentagon has said it’s unlikely Kyiv can take the peninsula.
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According to a Russian defense minister, Igor Kirillov, America is planning a ‘false flag’ chemical attack in Ukraine.
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