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Putin names ceasefire demands, including Kyiv's complete withdrawal from four Ukrainian regions

by Chris York and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 14, 2024 4:11 PM 3 min read
Vladimir Putin during a meeting with workers at the Obukhov State Plant in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Jan. 18, 2023. (Contributor/Getty Images)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on June 14 that Moscow would only agree to a ceasefire and enter peace talks if Ukraine withdraws from the four Ukrainian regions claimed – but not fully controlled – by the Kremlin.

Speaking on the eve of the global peace summit in Switzerland on June 15-16, Putin said his terms were "very simple," before saying Ukraine's troops must leave Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, and Kyiv must abandon any ambition to join NATO.

The demands also include the recognition of Crimea and Sevastopol as "subjects of the Russian Federation."

Russia occupies most of Ukraine's Luhansk Oblast, and substantial parts of the country's Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.

Explainer: What is the global peace summit in Switzerland, and what does Ukraine hope to achieve?
Well into the third year of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine is looking to strengthen international support for its peace plan at the upcoming global peace summit on June 15-16. While Russia has not been invited to the summit and has dismissed Ukraine’s plan outright, so far 107 countries

Regional capitals Kherson and Zaporizhzhia remain under Ukrainian control, while Luhansk and Donetsk have been occupied by Russia since 2014. Moscow controls all of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

"As soon as they declare in Kyiv that they are ready for such a decision and begin a real withdrawal of troops from these regions, and also officially announce the abandonment of their plans to join NATO – on our side, immediately, literally at the same minute, an order will follow to cease fire and begin negotiations," he said.

"I repeat, we will do this immediately. Naturally, we will simultaneously guarantee the unhindered and safe withdrawal of Ukrainian units and formations."

Putin declared the illegal annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts in September 2022, despite only partially occupying the areas in question.

A Ukrainian counteroffensive just weeks later liberated great swathes of the territory claimed by Russia. As of May 3, Russia was in control of around 18% of Ukrainian territory.

Ukraine has insisted a full withdrawal of Russian troops from all Ukrainian territory is necessary for peace negotiations to begin.

Kyiv hopes the upcoming peace summit will address several key areas, such as energy security, the exchange of captives, the return of kidnapped children, and global food security.

Participants of the summit will formulate a common negotiating position on the outcome of the war and submit it to Russia, according to presidential spokesperson Serhii Nykyforov.

Putin wants to derail the peace summit, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, adding that the Kremlin's chief has no desire in peace.

In early June, President Volodymyr Zelensky accused China of working with Moscow to reduce attendance at the peace summit, which Beijing denied.

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Ukraine’s 68th Jaeger Brigade released a video on June 14 purporting to show its forces taking out an entire Russian tank company during fighting in the Pokrovsk direction in the east of the country.

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