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Hersh Leaks Report of ‘Mil-Mil’ Talks Between Ukrainian and Russian Generals

The unexpected possibility that there may be talks about a different ceasefire underway—between Russian Chief of General Staff Gerasimov and Ukraine Armed Forces Commander Valery Zaluzhny—is raised by Seymour Hersh in “General to General,” an article published today. Hersh says that, given the clear inability of the Ukrainian forces to improve on the current stalemate, he has been told by two American sources “with direct knowledge of these matters,” that talks on a ceasefire have been underway for weeks, and that “The driving force of those talks has not been Washington or Moscow, or Biden or Putin, but instead the two high-ranking generals who run the war.”

By Hersh’s account this is the “back-story” to the surprising Nov. 1 interview Gen. Valery Zaluzhny gave to The Economist, in which he characterized the war as in a stalemate unlikely to be broken. According to Hersh’s sources, that interview was arranged through the agency of the Ukrainian commander, who “had some help in deciding to go public from some key Americans.” Russian generals are also said to have convinced President Putin that “there is no victory to be had; the losses are disproportionate.”

The sources have told Hersh that these talks were “triggered” by the understanding that Putin would have unchallenged control of Crimea, and pending elections to be held under martial law in March would maintain the four oblasts that have become part of Russia, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson; and the potential of Ukraine joining NATO. They acknowledged to him that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is furiously opposed to the ceasefire or stalemate idea—he blew up and made Zaluzhny apologize for his remarks in The Economist—and that the White House is completely opposed. Moreover, they acknowledged other serious political and even legal-criminal blocks.

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