May 22, 2022 - World

Ukraine rules out ceasefire or territory concessions

Remains of a detstroyed school in Ukraine
The remains of a destroyed school following a Russian military strike on the village of Bilogorivka, Lugansk region, eastern Ukraine, on May 13. Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

Ukraine will not agree to a ceasefire or any territorial concessions to Russia because doing so would only embolden the latter to ramp up its attacks, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak told Reuters in remarks published Sunday.

Why it matters: Russia launched a major offensive in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine last month that both sides characterized as a decisive "second phase" of the war.

  • While Russia initially struggled to make gains in the Donbas, Podolyak's remarks come as Russia has launched a major offensive in Luhansk, one of two provinces in the Donbas, Reuters reported.

What they're saying: "The war will not stop. It will just be put on pause for some time," Podolyak told Reuters in an interview on Saturday.

  • "They'll start a new offensive, even more bloody and large-scale," he added.

State of play: Earlier this week, Russian forces broke through Ukrainian defenses to the west of Popasna, a strategic town in Lukansk, to capture several villages while progressing south, NBC News reported.

  • The breakthrough brings the Russian forces a step closer to Severodonetsk, the last remaining major city still under Ukrainian control in Luhansk, per NBC News.
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