- Sputnik Africa, 1920, 10.04.2023
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate and defend the inhabitants of the Donbass region, where people have been suffering from a blockade and regular attacks by the Kiev regime's forces since 2014.

Lawmaker of Ukraine's Ruling Party Says UK's Johnson Talked Kiev Out of Ending Conflict in 2022

© Sputnik . RIA Novosti / Go to the mediabankDestroyed buildings near the Vladimir Boyko stadium in Mariupol, Russia.
Destroyed buildings near the Vladimir Boyko stadium in Mariupol, Russia. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 25.11.2023
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine and almost immediately agreed to begin peace settlement negotiations, which took place in Minsk and Istanbul. However, later in early April, Moscow announced that the Ukrainians refused to conduct further negotiations to resolve the conflict.
Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson talked Kiev out of signing an agreement with Russia to end the conflict in spring 2022, the head of the presidential faction of Ukraine’s ruling Servant of the People party, David Arakhamia, said in his interview with Ukrainian channel 1+1 on Friday.
During the Russia-Ukraine negotiations rounds, Arakhamia was a part of the Ukrainian delegation.

"The Russians were ready to end the war if we took neutrality like Finland and made a commitment that we would not join NATO. This was the key point… In addition, when we returned from Istanbul, Boris Johnson arrived in Kiev and said: We won’t sign anything with them [Russia] at all and let’s just fight," Arakhamia told the broadcaster.

Arakhamia claimed that Ukraine's delegation had two goals in its negotiations with Russia. The first goal was for Russia to recognize Zelensky's power as legitimate. The second goal was to buy time, to create a "smokescreen" for the Ukrainian military, and delay the negotiation process.

Furthermore, the high-ranking lawmaker added that Ukraine rejected the ceasefire agreement because it contradicts the country's constitution, which includes Kiev’s aspirations to join NATO. Arakhamia explained that in order to adopt a provision on Ukraine's neutrality, the country's constitution would have to be amended, which Kiev was not ready to do.

Among other reasons why the peace agreement was not signed, Arakhamia also named the lack of authority of the members of the Ukrainian delegation to sign such documents and further possible difficulties with the ratification of the agreement by the Ukrainian parliament.
Notably, the politician stated that the Western nations received all information about the negotiation's progress and documents from the Ukrainian side.
All in all, he admitted that as of now, Ukraine's negotiating position is very weak due to the loss of regions to Russia in the latter half of 2022. He expressed his belief that given the events which took place since the negotiations failed, "the entire leadership of Ukraine, both political and military, is [for] fighting."

"Why? Because we cannot sit down at the negotiating table now, our negotiating position is very bad. Why are we sitting there now? "Where do we stay? 'Let's just finish it?' Do you think Ukrainian society will accept it?" he argued, adding that the decisions of this magnitude should be made through referenda.

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin presented a draft of the Istanbul Treaty to the African peace initiative delegation addressing the Ukrainian crisis, emphasizing the fact that it was the Kiev regime that "threw it into the dustbin of history."
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the meeting with the leaders of a number of African states who arrived in St. Petersburg to negotiate possible ways to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, on June 17, 2023.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.06.2023
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Putin to African Delegation: Ukraine Gave Up on Negotiations Despite Arranged Peace Settlement
The president also mentioned that the parties to the conflict had approved the document in March of last year. He went on to say that it contained every detail on the armed services, right down to the troops and equipment units used in war. He also mentioned that the Ukrainian delegation had signed and initialed the agreement. But as soon as Moscow demonstrated its "good faith" by withdrawing forces from Kiev, the so-called Western overlords of Ukraine betrayed their word.

Attempts at Peaceful Solution to Ukrainian Crisis

As a result of the coup d'état in Ukraine in 2014, a fiercely pro-US, pro-EU, pro-NATO government came to power.
Pro-Russian protests erupted in the spring of 2014 throughout eastern and southern Ukraine, from Donbass region and Kharkov to Zaporozhye, Kherson, Nikolaev, and Odessa, following the coup. However, nationalists, security forces, and in the case of Donbass, the Ukrainian Army attacked the region and suppressed the demonstrations.
These events marked the beginning of protracted bloodshed in southeastern Ukraine.
In late January 2022, Donbass' officials announced the largest intensification of shelling and sabotage against the region since 2015, weeks after NATO and the US openly rejected two integrated security proposals from Russia, including a request for the alliance to stop eastward expansion into former Soviet space.
On February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, citing threats to the security of Donbass and the possibility of an impending full-scale invasion of the newly independent republics by Ukraine. The operation's goals were to "demilitarize" and "denazify" the nation, that is to eliminate the military threat to Donbass and the far-right elements in Kiev's leadership.
Russian-Ukrainian negotiations on resolving the conflict shortly after the start of the operation: the delegations held two face-to-face meetings in Belarus, followed by daily video conferences.
At the end of March, the countries' delegations held another round of negotiations in Istanbul. As a result, the head of the Russian delegation, presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, said that Ukraine had submitted its written proposals for a future agreement. Moscow considered this a step forward and noted that for the first time in many years Kiev demonstrated a desire to negotiate.
However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later said that Ukraine was rejecting its proposals and creating numerous provocations in order to slow down the negotiation process. In particular, Kiev presented its draft agreement, which clearly deviated from the provisions adopted at the Istanbul meeting.
Ever since, Moscow has previously repeatedly indicated its willingness to continue negotiations, but Kiev has introduced a ban on them at the legislative level. The West, however, regularly calls on Russia for negotiations, ignoring Kiev’s unwillingness to engage in dialogue.
Earlier, the Kremlin has stated that now there are no prerequisites for the situation in Ukraine to move in a peaceful direction. At the moment, Russia's absolute priority is to achieve the objectives of the special operation, which is currently only possible by military means.
The Kremlin has added that the situation in Ukraine can take a peaceful course, provided that the current de facto situation and new realities are taken into account. Moscow has also reminded that all its demands in the ongoing crisis are already well known.
In turn, President Putin said recently that if Ukraine wants a negotiation process, then it has to cease "theatrical gestures", the decree prohibiting negotiations with Russia must be revoked. According to him, Russia has never been against resolving the conflict in Ukraine by peaceful means, subject to one important condition; the provision of security guarantees to the Russian Federation.