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euractiv syndicated ISW capitulation sitrep w/e 25 May
For this account, Reuters spoke to a total of five people who work with or have worked with Putin at a senior level in the political and business worlds. The fifth source did not comment on freezing the war at the current frontlines.
All five sources said Putin had told advisers he had no designs on NATO territory, reflecting his public comments on the matter. Two of the sources cited Russian concerns about the growing danger of escalation with the West, including nuclear escalation, over the Ukraine standoff.
Three sources said Putin understood any dramatic new advances would require another nationwide mobilisation, which he didn't want, with one source, who knows the Russian president, saying his popularity dipped after the first mobilisation in September 2022.
Annotated ISW map Legend:
hatch blue area (///): current "Korea Option" grey zone along RF border
solid pinko area: four (4) RU "occupied territories"
thin black line: Ukraine oblast boundaries
thin blue line: active "frontline" meandering through  Kherson, Zaporizh*, Donetsk, and Luhansk
Putin's insistence on locking in any battlefield gains in a deal is non-negotiable, all of the sources suggested. Putin would, however, be ready to settle for what land he has now and freeze the conflict at the current front lines, four of the sources said.

"Putin will say that we won, that NATO attacked us and we kept our sovereignty, that we have a land corridor to Crimea, which is true," one of them said, giving their own analysis. Freezing the conflict along current lines would leave Russia in possession of substantial chunks of four Ukrainian regions he formally incorporated into Russia in September 2022, but without full control of any of them.

strana | The SBR accused 28 Ukrainian commanders of seizing ten villages near Kharkiv by the Russians, 24 May lost in translation
settlements of Strelka, Krasnoe, Borisovka, Pylnoye of the Kharkiv region and Gatische of the Chuguevsky region, as well as other settlements of the Kharkiv region (along the state border of Ukraine with the Russian Federation), during the assault actions of the Russian Army, there were facts of abandonment of combat positions by AFU units.
by Cat on Fri May 24th, 2024 at 11:27:52 PM EST
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