Vladimir Putin wants to end the ‘problematic’ war in Ukraine ‘as soon as possible’, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed.
The Turkish leader made the stunning statement last night to the US outlet PBS after sharing ‘extensive discussions’ with his warmongering Russian counterpart at a summit in Uzbekistan last week.
“He is actually showing me that he is willing to end this as soon as possible,” Erdogan said.
‘That was my impression, because the way things are going right now is quite problematic.’
The Turk’s comments were made less than 24 hours before the UN’s massive annual summit kicked off this morning in New York, where the war in Ukraine will be an ‘inevitable’ topic at the top of the agenda, chief EU diplomat Josep Borrell said. .
It comes as highly influential Russian nationalist Igor Girkin declared that further economic struggles or military losses caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine could mean the end of Putin’s regime.
The former FSB officer, a chief architect of the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the pro-Russian uprising in Donbas, said: ‘All it takes is a burst of inflation or a few more military defeats to finish him off. ‘
Vladimir Putin (R) wants to end the war in Ukraine ‘as soon as possible’, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) has claimed (both pictured in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 16 September
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attend a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan September 16, 2022
Igor ‘Strelkov’ Girkin, a former FSB officer and hardline Russian nationalist, warned Putin could see his grip on power fail with further defeats in Ukraine
Erdogan also said yesterday that Russia should not be allowed to retain any Ukrainian territory it had claimed amid the war, including Crimea.
“If peace is to be established in Ukraine, the return of the land that was invaded will of course become really important. This is what is expected,’ Erdogan affirmed in an apparent disapproval of Putin’s latest military exploits.
Russian positions in Ukraine were fundamentally weakened about 10 days ago, when a lightning Ukrainian counteroffensive broke a months-long stalemate in the northeastern Kharkiv region.
Ukrainian forces have since gone on to reclaim thousands of square kilometers of territory and are now said to be preparing new attacks on Russian-occupied regions of Donbas.
Putin last week downplayed the defeat, claiming his ‘special military operation’ would still be carried out as planned.
But Russian-installed governments in occupied Ukraine today called for referendums to plow ahead with formal annexation, while Russia’s parliament introduced laws to toughen penalties for disobedient soldiers and allow for mass mobilization – moves that smack of desperation to regain the control of a rapidly changing battlefield.
Girkin, who had a leading role in training, arming and orchestrating the 2014 uprising of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, told his more than half a million subscribers on Telegram that any further defeat could cause Putin’s regime to collapse.
The former Putin loyalist-turned-critic has warned since June of a potential collapse of Russian positions in Ukraine amid bitter fighting and has repeatedly called on the Kremlin to introduce a nationwide mobilization of armed forces and mass conscription to overwhelm Ukrainians.
Igor ‘Strelkov’ Girkin, Russian army veteran and former FSB officer who played a key role in the 2014 annexation of Crimea, has been openly critical of Putin’s handling of the conflict in Ukraine (a Russian nationalist flag is pictured in the background)
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his speech as he attends a ceremony to receive credentials from newly appointed foreign ambassadors to Russia, in the Kremlin, Moscow, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the war in Ukraine will be an “inevitable” topic at the top of the agenda at this week’s UN summit in New York
“You can say that the battle for the initiative that I have been talking about since June has been completely won by the Ukrainian armed forces,” Girkin said after the mass Russian withdrawal from the Kharkiv region last weekend.
‘I am 99 percent, maybe 100 percent, sure of our defeat.’
However, Putin appeared to double down on his war in Ukraine today, blasting the US for its perceived attempts to ‘maintain its global dominance’.
During a speech in the Kremlin in Moscow, Putin said that ‘the objective development towards a multipolar world meets resistance from those who try to maintain their hegemony in global affairs and control everything – Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa.’
He added that ‘the hegemon has been successful with it for quite some time, but it cannot continue forever… regardless of developments in Ukraine.’
Putin has repeatedly presented his decision to send troops into Ukraine as a response to alleged Western interference in Russia’s vital security interests.
The Russian leader described Western sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine as part of efforts by the United States and its allies to strengthen their positions, but charged that they have backfired on their organizers and also hurt poor countries.
“With regard to Russia, we will not deviate from our sovereign course,” Putin said.