Written by Jack Elbaum
What’s happening: After two years of fighting, some believe a cessation of hostilities between Ukraine and Russia is on the horizon.
- Optimism: Both Russia and Ukraine have signaled they would like the war to end. Additionally, Ukraine’s stalled counter-offensive has caused a stalemate, according to the Ukrainian army’s commander-in-chief. Some believe conditions are ripe for advancing peace talks.
The stakes for America: Amid a decline in U.S. funding and popular support, some Western countries are reportedly pressuring Zelenskyy to move forward in diplomatic talks, though he denies this is happening. Ending the war could also help President Joe Biden’s 2024 reelection bid by countering the perception the world has become more dangerous under his watch.
Why it matters: The terms for peace that each side is pushing are completely different. Russia wants to retain control over four Ukrainian regions and install a favorable government in Kyiv. To Ukraine, agreeing to that would be an unacceptable admission of defeat. The red lines drawn on both sides make a peace agreement in the near future almost impossible.
- Politics: Zelenskyy could not cede territory occupied by Russia without it being extremely unpopular among his constituents and likely being voted out of office.
- Also: There has been no decline in the amount of fighting happening, despite vague talks wishing the war was over.