Vladimir Putin set to declare a ceasefire once Donbas secured by Russian forces

Vladimir Putin will declare a ceasefire once Russian forces have successfully occupied the Donbas region in Ukraine, claimed Frank Gardner. The BBC security correspondent suggested Russian forces would halt the invasion of Ukraine once Putin’s mission to capture Donetsk and Luhansk areas has been achieved. Speaking on the BBC’s Ukraine cast, Mr Gardner said: “You can see the position, the end game, they want to get to. 

“Russia will eventually say ok we’re ready to declare a ceasefire now, we’ll stay where we are thanks.”

Mr Gardner warned Ukrainian authorities would likely not be accepting of a suggested Russian ceasefire at this point in the conflict.

He continued: “Ukraine will say, no you won’t, you’re still occupying 20 percent of our land.”

Despite Ukrainian opposition, Mr Gardner claimed members of NATO would be willing to accept the terms of a Russian ceasefire in order to ease the global economic strain created by the war.

He added: “There will be some in the West who say, come on Ukraine, enough is enough, this has set off a global famine, there are sanctions, we need to get back to normal life, the cost of living is soaring, let’s just bury all of this and leave Russia where it is.”

Mr Gardner described a Russian ceasefire as a “risk” for Ukraine as the country’s NATO allies would likely favour a break in the conflict.

Consequently, Ukraine would be forced to accept the annexation of the Donbas region by Putin’s forces or risk losing the vital international military backing provided by NATO. 

BBC reporter Victoria Derbyshire asked: “Do you think that’s realistic?

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He said: “Russia have given up, for now, on trying to take the whole country.”

Mr Gardner continued: “It’s not tried to take Kyiv, the capital.

“It’s making life unpleasant for some of the towns and it’s certainly obliterated places like Mariupol.”

Mr Shevchenko added to the statements of his colleague: “The Russians have made progress in key parts of Luhansk and Donetsk.

“Once Severodonetsk falls, that’s it, Russia will have all of the Luhansk region under its control and that opens up the way to the remaining parts of the Donetsk region.”