Kyiv: Promising no signs of decline in the conflict in Ukraine, the country has ruled out a ceasefire or concessions to Russia, while the latter's forces stepped up their offensive in the eastern Donbas region. Latest among responses to the Western sanctions and intensifying isolation from international levels, Moscow has resorted to stopping gas imports to Finland, Reuters reported.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's advisor Mykhailo Podolyak told Reuters that any deal that involved ceding Ujkraine territory to Russia would not happen. Making concessions to Russia will harm Ukraine more as the former is hitting back harder after every break in fighting. The war will continue but for short pauses. Russia will start a more bloody offensive on larger scales, Podolyak said.
His statement comes as a response to recent calls by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi for an immediate ceasefire.
After clearing the weeks-long Ukrainian forces' resistance in the southeastern port of Mariupol, Russian forces have opened an attack on Luhansk province in Donbas. Although Russian-backed separatists hold major parts of the area, Russia intends to take the whole region.
While Russian troops are trying to break Ukrainian defences to reach the administrative borders of the Luhansk region, Russia is heavily shelling Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk further north.
British Defence Ministry informed on Sunday that Moscow is using its BMP-T "Terminator" tank-support vehicles in eastern and Southern Ukraine after its force failed to grab Kyiv. But the British administration is also doubtful whether Russian troops could make a significant impact.
However, the surrender of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol's Azovstal steelworks and the end of fighting there have given Russia an upper hand after the major setback at Kyiv. Russia could leverage the full control of Mariupol to link the Crimean Peninsula, which it had already annexed in 2014, with the Russian mainland along with parts of eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists.