Putin seeks closer ties with China after battlefield setbacks
Putin seeks closer ties with China after battlefield setbacks in Ukraine – but President Xi has yet to provide weapons and ammunition
- Russian commanders believe troops cannot advance further to seize Bakhmut
- China has declined to take sides in the war to establish itself as a peacemaker
Vladimir Putin’s failures on the battlefield have exposed his increasing reliance on China’s president Xi Jinping.
Just weeks ago Russian troops appeared poised to capture the strategically significant city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.
Advisers of Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky were saying he should withdraw his troops to save lives.
But he did the opposite and deployed thousands of reinforcements who made an immediate difference.
Now, in a remarkable turnaround, Russian commanders believe operations to seize Bakhmut have reached a ‘culminating point’ – military jargon for when troops cannot advance any further and must focus on defensive operations instead.
Vladimir Putin’s failures on the battlefield have exposed his increasing reliance on China’s president Xi Jinping (pictured: right)
With Western tanks expected to arrive in the coming weeks, Russia is expected to struggle to hold territory they have taken.
Putin hopes to strengthen his relationship with China although president Xi has yet to provide weapons and ammunition.
China has declined repeated Russian requests to take sides – because Beijing wants to establish its credentials as a peacemaker.
It also benefits from the international sanctions imposed on Russia – as it means Moscow is forced to sell its natural resources at reduced prices, due to a lack of European customers.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky deployed thousands of reinforcements who made an immediate difference, against the advice of his advisors
At a press conference at the Kremlin yesterday afternoon Putin said Russia and China were working on ‘mutually beneficial measures’.
He said the countries are forming a ‘great Eurasian partnership’.
He said: ‘I am confident these arrangements will be the basis for future growth and development for our countries and our people.’
Following yesterday’s talks with Putin, president Xi said China was ‘impartial’ on the Ukraine conflict, adding that he supported peace and dialogue to end the war.
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