Ukraine's former Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has warned the West that Russia's intentions towards Ukraine are far more sinister than mere conquest.
According to Reznikov, negotiations with Moscow will not bring peace, as Vladimir Putin is determined to completely destroy Ukraine and "assimilate" its citizens into the Russian Federation.
Reznikov states that any "deal" with the Kremlin would not end the conflict. Russia demands the recognition of Ukraine's occupied territories as its own in exchange for ending the war.
However, this is merely a tactic to buy time, regroup, and ultimately "solve the Ukrainian problem" using new resources. Russia does not recognize the existence of Ukraine and its people; its goal is the annihilation of the Ukrainian state and the assimilation of Ukrainians.
Drawing parallels with the events leading up to World War II, Reznikov compares the international demands in 1938 for Czechoslovakia to cede Sudetenland to Nazi Germany.
He argues that Putin's actions follow a similar pattern, and history shows that such concessions do not stop aggressors.
The situation is further complicated by the lack of "meaningful diplomacy" with Moscow, as stated by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Despite some recent successes, Ukraine's counteroffensive has not yet liberated a significant portion of southern Ukraine occupied by Russia since last year's full-scale invasion.
Some Western allies have suggested that Ukraine may need to make territorial concessions to Russia in exchange for peace and NATO membership, a proposal that has sparked outrage in Kiev.