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As shelling over Ukrainian cities continue, Putin claims he’s ready for talks that could end the war. Others says he’s bluffing or growing weary.

putin shoiguRussian President Vladimir Putin (L) looks on Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (R) during a military parade in Pskov, Russia, on March,1, 2020.

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

  • Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia is ready for talks in a state television interview. 
  • His claims came amid continued shelling of Ukrainian cities over the holiday weekend. 
  • A leading think tank says Russian forces are growing weary in their offensive attacks. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed he’s ready for talks that could end the war in Ukraine but blamed the other side for refusing to come to the table, The Associated Press reported on Sunday. 

In the statements, taken from a state television interview, Putin said that Russia is “prepared to negotiate some acceptable outcomes with all the participants of this process” but that “it’s not us who refuse talks, it’s them.” 

Putin further tried to justify Russia’s actions by stating that Moscow has no other choice and that the Kremlin was defending Russia’s national interests, the interests of its citizens, and people.

The Russian president has previously made comments about wanting to end the war. In September, he responded to criticism over the ongoing conflict by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an in-person meeting in Uzbekistan, Reuters reported. Putin said, “I know about your position on the conflict in Ukraine, and I know about your concerns. We want all of this to end as soon as possible.”

Sunday’s claims came on the heels of continued attacks on Ukraine from Moscow. 

On Christmas day, two country-wide air raid alerts sounded off. Local officials reported that three missiles hit the city of Kramatorsk in the partially occupied Donetsk region. Six rounds of shelling also hit the city of Avdiivka, according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of Donetsk Oblast.

On Saturday, at least 10 people were killed and 55 were injured after Russian shells hit the Ukrainian city of Kherson. 

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the head of the office of the president of Ukraine, tweeted on Sunday that Russia doesn’t want negotiations and is only trying to avoid responsibility. 

—Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) December 25, 2022

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank, suggested that Russian war efforts are weakening. 

On December 24, the ISW reported that the Russian forces’ rate of advance in the Bakhmut area, the eastern region of Ukraine, has slowed in recent days. 

On the same day, the UK Ministry of Defense noted that it’s highly likely that a shortage of munitions is the key limiting factor as forces struggle to maintain offensive operations in that region. 

The ISW suggested that the developments could lead Russian forces to initiate a tactical or operational pause. 

Over the holidays, Ukrainians took their fight for Independence into other avenues of their lives. In an effort to break from Russian traditions, some Orthodox Ukrainians celebrated Christmas on December 25, as opposed to January 7 in line with the Russian Orthodox Church.  The shift came after the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, one of two branches of Orthodox Christianity agreed to the adjustment, per AP.

Read the original article on Business Insider