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Press TV correspondent: Ukraine conflict is ‘proxy war’ between Russia, NATO

Smoke and dirt rise from the city of Severodonetsk, during shelling in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, on May 26, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

A Press TV correspondent says the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is a proxy war between Russia and NATO as well as an ethnic war.

Johnny Miller made the remarks in an interview with Press TV from the center of Donetsk, the capital of the Donbas Peoples' Republic, who is there to cover the conflict with Russia.

“This conflict is on one hand a proxy war between Russia and NATO. It is also a civil war; an ethnic, cultural war. If you ask the most people around me here, what they think about the separatists here in Dontetsk, and what they think of the Russian invasion, they’ll tell you that they support the separatists and they support the Russian invasion. If you ask people in Kiev the same question, they’ll tell you that the separatists are wrong and that they do not support the Russian invasion.” 

Miller said the center of Donetsk is much more quiet due to Russia’s advances in recent days, “which are threatening the Ukrainian positions” on the outskirts of the city. He went on to say that no one can believe the frontline is only six kilometers away, adding that occasional boom of artillery or anti air defense cannot be heard any longer.

Miller further said Russian forces are making "serious advances," adding that they are planning to take the entire region.  

He also stated that it is difficult to see how Kiev and its Western backers are going to support Ukrainian forces, giving them heavy weapons so they can stop Russia from taking the rest of Donbass.  

“And then there is a hope that Russia may call an end to its special military operation or maybe they might try to take other cities like Kharkiv or Odessa,” he added.

Miller further pointed that there have been growing calls for peace talks, saying France and Germany, in particular, have been trying to put pressure on Ukrainians and Russia in order to seek negotiations.

However, he said, Ukrainians are saying at the moment that they will not negotiate, “unless there is a pre-condition that Russia will give back all the territory that they took at the beginning of this conflict and Russia simply is not going to do that.”

He also predicted that given Russia’s latest advances, Moscow will not negotiate either.

Russia launched the military operation in Ukraine on February 24. Western countries have responded to the Russian military operation by backing Ukraine with cash and heavy weaponry while imposing unprecedented sanctions on Russian officials and entities.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that such a flow of weapons to Kiev will only prolong the conflict.

Talks between the two warring sides have been held regularly both in person and via video link since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine.

However, the negotiations have failed to produce a breakthrough, as both the warring sides have refused to compromise on their respective redlines.

Moscow has already warned that Western weapons supplies to Ukraine may hurt any prospects of peace.

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