Any concession to Russia will lead to an escalation of the war, Mikhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said in an interview with Reuters on Saturday.
After a break in fighting, the Russians will build up their weapons and manpower and start a new offensive, Podolyak said, acknowledging that Kyiv’s stance was becoming more uncompromising.
In related news, Russia “will explore” swapping some of Ukraine’s defenders of the port city of Mariupol for Viktor Medvedchuk, an ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, Interfax news agency reported Saturday, citing senior lawmaker Leonid Slutsky, a member of the Russian negotiating team that took part in peace talks with Kyiv.
“We will study the possibility,” Slutsky said Saturday in Donetsk, a eastern Ukrainian city occupied by Russia, according to Interfax.
Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian politician and a businessman, was put under arrest after prosecutors accused him of high treason and terrorist financing. Putin called the case political, and Medvedchuk denies wrongdoing. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy offered to swap Medvedchuk for captured Ukrainian soldiers last month.
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