Conflicts & War

A frozen conflict will only favor Russia, says Ukrainian soldier

By Luis Ángel Reglero

Shevchenko, Ukraine, Jun 7 (EFE).- A stalled war in which Russia holds on to recently occupied areas of Ukraine with no lasting peace would only favor Moscow’s interests, a Ukrainian soldier deployed near the southeastern front line tells Efe in an interview.

“Given Russia has failed to seize all the territories it had planned to occupy, it could now attempt to freeze the conflict by political means,” Andriy, a member of Ukraine’s territorial defense who preferred to give only his first name, says.


According to Andriy, what Russian president Vladimir Putin wants is for “the (Russian) border to remain within the limits of the front line.”

Invading Russian troops currently control 20% of Ukraine’s territory and are concentrated in southern and eastern regions behind a 1,000 kilometer front line, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently said.

Andriy and his colleagues agree with the president, who warned that a frozen conflict with no resolution in place would spell disaster for Ukraine.

Civilians are a rare sight these days in southeastern Ukrainian, where only soldiers can be spotted scouring sites struck by Russian missiles, such as the nursery school where Andriy and his team are inspecting a hole blasted through its front door.

French president Emmanuel Macron’s recent appeal to avoid humiliating Putin once the war stops, so as to clinch a diplomatic solution, has not gone down well in Ukraine.

“For the whole civilized world and for Ukraine, this scenario is not acceptable, because a frozen conflict with Russia is a conflict in the future, which will start again in a year, two or five,” Andriy warns.

Frayed posters plastered on the streets of Ukraine’s cities serve as a reminder the war with Russia dates back to 2014, when Putin annexed Crimea and Russian-backed separatists seized control swathes of the eastern Donbas region, subsequently proclaiming them to be independent republics.

Over 10,000 people were killed in the conflict that erupted in 2014, according to the United Nations.

“Russia will not leave Ukraine so easily, so we must do everything to achieve victory for Ukraine,” the soldier adds.

Russia’s offensive was swift when the war broke out on February 24 and Kremlin forces swallowed up sizable chunks of Ukrainian territory.

Since then, the Ukraine army, backed by international aid and resources, have recaptured territory around Kyiv and Kharkiv and pushed the front line back from cities like Dnipro and Zaporizhzhya.


Sergiy, another soldier, echoes what many Ukrainian military officials are saying, which is that Russia’s threat does not end in Ukraine.

“A few years ago, not all of us believed that Putin would attack us, that he could come here and say that this is his land,” he tells Efe.

And in his opinion, he will not stop until he gets “what he considers to be in his sphere of geopolitical influence,” the soldier adds.

“The Russian special services are working in that direction and God forbid something similar happens in some other country, somewhere in Europe,” he says.

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