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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


by our European Affairs correspondent

RUSSIAN and Donbas forces are continuing to advance along the entire eastern front as Russian rockets pound strategic targets throughout Ukraine. But while NATO pours even more weapons into Ukraine and openly spurns any talk of compromise, Putin says Russia and Ukraine were close to reaching a peace deal but that this was sabotaged by Anglo-American imperialism.


Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Tehran for talks with the Turkish and Iranian leaderships, told the media that Russia and Ukraine could have ended their conflict in March if Kiev had not withdrawn from negotiations in Turkey.

“There were well-known negotiations in Istanbul, when we actually reached an agreement, the only thing left to do was to sign it,” Putin told reporters on Tuesday, after meeting with the presidents of Turkey and Iran in Tehran.

“In order to create these conditions, our troops withdrew from central Ukraine, from Kiev, but the Kiev au­thorities refused to implement these agreements” and they have no desire to do so even now, Putin added.

Thanking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his efforts to negotiate a peace deal in Ukraine, as well as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for offering to mediate, Putin said the outcome in the end depends “not on the mediators, but on the willingness of the parties involved” to make good on their obligations.

In May the Ukrainian media reported that the Kiev regime had reneged on the 29th March agreement reached by the two delegations in Istanbul, after a visit by Boris Johnson on 9th April. Johnson told Zelensky that Putin was “a war criminal, who should be prosecuted and not nego­tiated with”, and that even if Ukraine were willing to make peace with Russia, the West was not, Ukrainska Pravda reported, citing multiple government officials.


Now, if and when talks on a peaceful settlement of the Ukraine conflict resume, Moscow will make much harsher demands. Leonid Slutsky, a member of the Kremlin’s negotiating team, said: “Today the conditions from our side will be tougher both on de-militarisation and de-Nazification, tougher in essence and in time of their execution.” Leonid Slutsky, the leader of the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), said: “I emphasise that this is if the negotiation process is resumed. So far, Kyiv officials have not shown any willingness to resume talks.” This was echoed by Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov, who said that Russia’s demands would be different if the two sides sat down at the negotiating table now.

Meanwhile hundreds of senior Ukrainian intelligence officers have been dismissed or suspended in a new crackdown on top security officials. President Zelensky has dismissed Ivan Bakanov, the head of the country’s Security Service (SBU), as well as Ukrainian Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova. Many have been accused of treason or collaboration with Russian special services; 651 criminal cases have already been launched.

The trigger for the purge is believed to be the recent Russian missile strike on the Officers’ House in the western Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia during a meeting of Ukrainian and foreign military officers. A large group of high-ranking Ukrainian Air Force officers were killed as well as a number from other Western forces. Zelensky, it is said, was then forced by his Western masters to punish the top security officials who were responsible for the leak of information.