The White House said Tuesday that Ukraine can decide for itself if it wants to give up land to Russia in order to end the war.
Driving the news: White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said Tuesday that it does not fully embrace the United Kingdom’s stance that Russian troops must leave, per the New York Post.
Flashback: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday that the U.K. won’t accept anything less than a full withdrawal of Russia from Ukraine, per Reuters.
What she said: “We are going to allow the Ukrainians to execute these negotiations. It’s not our role to begin the negotiation,” Bedingfield said, according to the New York Post.
- “Again, our role is to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield, to try to strengthen Ukraine at the negotiating table by implying the sanctions and costs to Russia. But I’m not going to prejudge or pre-determine an outcome for that conversation.”
The bigger picture: Russia’s military said Tuesday that it would look to “dramatically reduce” attacks around Kyiv and Chernihiv, as I reported for the Deseret News.
- U.S. officials are worried that Russian President Vladimir Putin may try to split Ukraine into two countries, similar to how North Korea and South Korea are two different nations.
- Ukraine’s head of military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, said that Russia may want to snag the eastern part of Ukraine, per Reuters.
What he said: “In fact, it is an attempt to create North and South Korea in Ukraine,” he said.