Negotiations between Ukraine and Russia will be cut off if Moscow holds a show trial of captured Ukrainian prisoners, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
Zelensky’s comments in his Sunday night address were in reference to reports that a trial was being planned in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, which has been captured by Russian troops and Moscow-backed separatists, reports dpa news agency.
“If this despicable show trial takes place, if our people are brought into this scenery in violation of all agreements, all international rules… This will be the line beyond which any negotiations are impossible. Russia will cut itself off from the negotiations. There will be no more conversations,” he said.
With the war on its way to reach the six-month mark, Russia is having trouble to motivate its auxiliary troops from separatists regions in Ukraine loyal to Moscow, according to the British intelligence.
“Commanders are probably resorting to direct financial incentives, while some combat units are deemed unreliable for offensive operations,” the British Ministry of Defence said on Monday in its daily report.
The report refers to a video circulated on Ukrainian social media channels on August 15, in which elements from a military unit of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine outline their refusal to be deployed as part of offensive operations in Donetsk.
“The fighters claimed they had fulfilled their duty in securing the LPR’s control over all of Luhansk Oblast, which was secured in July 2022, and were unwilling to fight in Donetsk Oblast despite threats and intimidation by senior commanders,” the report stated.