Mariupol defiance changed course of war, says Ukraine’s presidential adviser

Although Mariupol’s complete capture would represent Russia’s biggest victory of the war, its campaign has faltered elsewhere.

Russian troops around Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv in the northeast lately retreated at the fastest pace since they were driven out of the north and the area around the capital Kyiv at the end of March.

Podolyak, Ukraine’s lead negotiator, reiterated that Ukraine was not prepared to give away territory in negotiations so that Russian President Vladimir Putin could save face.

He said peace talks with Russia were effectively frozen but that they could restart if there were concrete issues to discuss.

“Objectively speaking, the negotiation process is indeed in a pause … but I underline that any war will all the same end at the negotiating table,” he said.

Ukraine and Russia have not held face-to-face peace talks since Mar 29. Russian chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky was quoted by Interfax news agency last week as saying peace talks were being held remotely.