March 3, 2024

Institute for the Study of War: China to [robe Ukraine on prospects for peace talks

Institute for the Study of War

China and Turkey continue to pursue their own negotiations platforms for a settlement in Ukraine, which the Kremlin is exploiting to further its own information operations aimed at discouraging continued international support for Ukraine. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin and Chinese Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hiu met in Moscow on March 2 to discuss China’s desire to facilitate peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. Galuzin and Li noted that it is “impossible” to discuss a settlement in Ukraine without Russia’s participation and without “taking into account [Russia’s] interests in the security sphere.” Galuzin and Li added that Western and Ukrainian “ultimatums” and “dialogue formats” only “harm the prospects for a settlement and cannot serve as [the settlement’s] basis.” Li is expected to visit Ukraine and unspecified EU states following his meetings in Russia. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan stated during the Antalya Diplomatic Forum on March 3 that Turkey hopes talks for a ceasefire in Ukraine will “start soon” and that Turkey believes that “both sides have reached the limits” of what they can achieve through military means. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently announced that Turkey is prepared to provide another negotiations platform for Russia and Ukraine, which Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov publicly rejected on March 1.

Key Takeaways:

  • China and Turkey continue to pursue their own negotiations platforms for a settlement in Ukraine, which the Kremlin is exploiting to further its own information operations aimed at discouraging continued international support for Ukraine.
  • Recent relatively high Russian aviation losses appear to be prompting a significant decrease in Russian aviation activity in eastern Ukraine, although it is unclear how long this decrease in activity will last.
  • Delays in Western security assistance will likely make Ukraine’s energy infrastructure more vulnerable to Russian strikes.
  • Russian forces operating around Avdiivka appear to be adapting to conducting offensive ground operations with trained and untrained personnel.
  • German officials confirmed that the Kremlin is conducting an information operation aimed at deterring Western states, particularly Germany, from sending additional military aid to Ukraine.
  • The Russian Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAK) announced on March 3 that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) conducted a localized counter-terrorism operation in Karabulak, Republic of Ingushetia.
  • Positional engagements continued throughout the theater on March 3. 
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