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Putin still wants all of Ukraine because he is driven by ideology, not reason: expert

Jason Jay Smart, political analyst and special correspondent for the Kyiv Post, was invited on TVP World to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine and the G20 summit in Bali.

Kherson is liberated and there are voices calling for a negotiated settlement to the war. Mr Smart explains that there are two reasons this will not happen.

Firstly, Ukrainians have no reason to want to negotiate with Russians. Although victory is still far away, it is apparent to everyone that right now, they are regaining territory and winning the war. Washington has also said that it will not pressure Ukraine to negotiate with the Kremlin on any other terms than Kyiv’s own.

Secondly, negotiations with Russia would be pointless. Negotiations were conducted in the early stages of the war, but Russia has shown time and time again it negotiates in bad faith. That is because Putin is still intent on occupying all of Ukraine. So for the Ukrainians, there is no benefit in negotiating with the invaders, and they know it.

It might seem surprising that Putin would still delude himself that he can conquer Ukraine, but as Mr Smart explains, Russia’s dictator is driven in his decision-making by ideology, not by rationality or facts, and so the costs do not matter.

Other issues discussed with Mr Smart included: what are likely to be Russia’s next steps; why did Russians wait with unleashing the campaign of destroying Ukrainian infrastructure so late into the war; what is even the point of Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov attending the G20 meeting in Bali; and Ukraine’s plant to build a fence along the border with Belarus.

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