Putin is “not planning for peace” as war in Ukraine heads into its 2nd year
No one knows how the war in Ukraine will end, but “there is no sign” that Russian President Vladimir Putin “has changed his ambitions” as the invasion approaches the one-year mark this week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
“We see the opposite. He’s not planning for peace. He’s planning for more war,” he told CNN at the Munich Security Conference.
“They are launching offensive operations already,” the NATO chief said, pointing to fighting in eastern Ukraine, specifically the city of Bakhmut. “Whether this is the big spring offensive or whether it’s just a kind of prelude to that, it’s a bit hard to tell. But they are pouring in more and more troops and more and more weapons,” he added.
Stoltenberg said Russia is trying to make up for poor equipment and logistics with more troops, something he described as “throwing just waves of people on the defensive lines,” a type of fighting that hasn’t been seen since World War I.
“If you don’t care so much about human lives then you just throw in more and more,” he said.
Stoltenberg said while how the conflict will end is unclear, what he is sure of is the importance of western military support for Ukraine.
“If you want Ukraine to prevail as a sovereign nation and if you want a peaceful negotiated solution tomorrow, then you need to provide military support today,” he said, adding that the effectiveness of negotiations for Ukraine depends on “strength on the battlefield.”
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