Kremlin denies ‘stalemate’ in Ukraine conflict

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Russia on Thursday denied a claim from Kyiv’s most senior military official that the nearly two-year conflict in Ukraine had reached a deadlock.

“No, it has not reached a stalemate,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“Russia is steadily carrying out the special military operation. All the goals that were set should be fulfilled,” he added, using the Kremlin’s name for the full-scale military intervention.

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Peskov was responding to an interview in British media with Ukraine’s General Valery Zaluzhny, who said the two sides had reached an impasse along the sprawling frontline.

“Just like in the First World War, we have reached the level of technology that puts us into a stalemate,” he told the Economist, adding that: “There will most likely be no deep and beautiful breakthrough.”

Ukrainian forces launched a counteroffensive against entrenched Russian positions earlier this year but have gained limited ground.

Russian forces made limited progress in their own offensive earlier this year and recently launched a fresh push to fully encircle the eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka.

A Ukrainian military spokesman said earlier Thursday however that Russian assaults on the industrial hub had eased.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin last year announced the annexation of four territories in eastern and southern Ukraine despite not having full military control over them.

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