Putin to ‘grab all the land he can’ giving up on peace talks – Moscow insiders

Vladimir Putin is said to want to seize as much Ukrainian territory as he can before the war ends, Moscow insiders have claimed.

The Russian President is reportedly feeling like peace negotiations have reached a "dead end" and the sinking of the Moskva warship has left him feeling humiliated and reluctant to sign anything.

One of the Kremlin insiders told the Financial Times: "There was hope for a deal. Putin was going back and forth. He needs to find a way to come out of this a winner".

Another added: "Putin sincerely believes in the nonsense he hears on television and he wants to win big".

Russia has focused its forces on Ukraine's east in recent weeks, in an effort to annex the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics.

According to Russian news outlet Channel 5, Putin said that the Ukrainian delegation has agreed to keep the two aforementioned areas as well as Crimea out of negotiation talks in Turkey.

Rustem Umirov, a senior member of the Ukrainian delegation, said: "We continue the negotiation process. Primarily — to save more lives of our people.

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"We will use all the political and diplomatic efforts to stop this bloodshed. But there are red lines we will never cross. Ukraine will never give up its people and its territories."

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with Putin and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Tuesday (April 26) in what could be described as the highest profile peacekeeping mission since the war began in February.

Guterres called again for the establishment of humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from areas of heavy fighting in the Donbas region.

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