Kremlin Denies Reports That Putin Signaling White House For Peace Talks

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jan 26, 2024 - 07:40 PM

There has been growing chatter this week in international press that Moscow is looking to strike a peace deal with Ukraine and the West toward ending the war, which is about to hit its two-year mark by the end of February.

It was also back in December that the NY Times issued a report saying that President Putin is "quietly signaling" to the West that he wants a ceasefire. This reporting picked up steam again this week after Bloomberg published a report which cited two anonymous sources said to be close to the Kremlin. They said Putin's officials had used diplomatic back-channels to "put out feelers" to senior Biden admin officials in December.

But on Friday the Kremlin issued a firm denial of these reports. And specifically concerning the new Bloomberg article, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a press briefing, "That’s false information, it’s completely untrue."

But he had also told Bloomberg just the day prior that "President Putin has stated numerous times that Russia was, is and will continue to be open for negotiations on Ukraine."

"[We] would prefer to complete [our goals] by diplomatic means. If not, the military operation will be continued till we reach our goals," he had added.

Previously, the initial NY Times reporting in December had said that "Mr. Putin indicated that he was satisfied with Russia’s captured territory and ready for an armistice," according to US officials.

Ukraine's leadership and society has been fracturing under the strain of the invasion and immense death toll, with Kiev officials recently admitting monumental problems with manpower and ammo supply.

But the reality is that also in Russian society there are likely deep fractures and uncertainty too, though it's far less evident. Countless mothers, fathers, and families are grieving and dealing with the loss of loved ones killed in action. Conservative estimates have said at least 50,000 Russian troops have died in the war (and that is based just on data as of mid-summer). US officials have claimed a figure in the hundreds of thousands, but there are reasons to be doubtful of this.

Angry families of fallen soldiers have increasingly formed the locus of a small but increasingly visible Russian anti-war movement, suggesting broader quiet societal angst concerning the direction of the war in Ukraine. They don't want Ukraine to be Russia's "endless war".

So likely, Putin could be facing increased pressure even from Kremlin senior officials and elements of the populace to wrap up Ukraine operations, especially given the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions have already been declared part of Russia, and a firm military grip remains on them.

But Ukraine's Zelensky has shut the door every time he's so much as asked by the press about the possibility of negotiating. Simultaneously, he's admitted time and again that things aren't going well for Ukraine forces on the battlefield. Yet he still says he'll never enter ceasefire talks with Moscow so long as Putin is still in power.