Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to stop the war in Ukraine by agreeing to a ceasefire that recognizes the current battle lines, four separate sources from within his inner circle have told Reuters.

However, they say he remains ready to continue fighting if Kyiv and the West do not engage.

“Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire – to freeze the war,” said an unnamed senior Russian source who has worked with Putin. He, like the others cited in the story, spoke on condition of anonymity.

Putin, according to sources familiar with his views, has expressed frustration over what he views as Western efforts “to block negotiations and Volodymyr Zelensky's refusal to consider talks.”

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Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, in response to a request for comment, reiterated that Russia is open to dialogue and does not want an “eternal war.” Ukraine’s government has not commented.

Putin’s recent appointment of economist Andrey Belousov as defence minister is seen by some Western analysts as a move to prepare the Russian economy for a prolonged war.

Despite this assessment, sources indicate that Putin would prefer to capitalize on Russia's current military gains to conclude the war.

While Putin’s popularity dipped following the initial mobilisation in 2022, Peskov stated there are no plans for another, with the military focusing on volunteer recruitment instead.

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Despite the possibility of a ceasefire, Zelensky has consistently rejected peace on Putin's terms, aiming to reclaim all territories lost since 2014, including Crimea and the US and Europe continue to support Ukraine with substantial aid packages.

Putin is determined to retain the territory Russia currently holds and believes that further advances might be unnecessary to allow him to declare a victory domestically.

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