In recent months, the Ukraine-Russia conflict has become something of a forgotten war as events in Gaza have hogged the headlines.

However, the past few days have been good for Vladimir Putin, with arms production up and Ukraine pulling out of the key battleground city of Avdiivka. Foreign Affairs Editor David Pratt explained the situation in a detailed analysis piece at the weekend.

Read his article here 👈

Today one of our readers argues that Ukraine cannot win this war and should cede the three Donbass provinces.

Ian Mitchell of Glasgow writes:

"The fall of Avdiivka illustrates what has been obvious to any objective observer for two years: that Ukraine could not and cannot win the war with Russia.

No amount of western arms can bring victory to an army outnumbered 4 to 1 and whose average troop age is 43. If President Zelenskyy and Nato continue this conflict, it could lead to the actual destruction of Ukraine or at least to its long-term situation as a failed, basket-case state. Therefore, peace talks (without the impossible preconditions Mr Zelenskyy demands, that is a total Russian evacuation of its occupied territory in the Donbass and the return of Crimea) could mean that Kyiv's losses are confined to the three Donbass provinces, already almost totally occupied by Russia. Had Kiev however accepted and implemented the Minsk Agreements which it signed in 2015, guaranteeing the autonomy and legal rights in language and other areas of the Russian-speaking minority, this war would not have happened, and Ukraine would still have its pre-2022 borders.

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Believing in the ability of the support of its western backers in military and financial terms to bring an impossible victory, hubris has led to nemesis. To prevent further death and destruction, Kyiv has to accept the reality and salvage what it can of its pre-war status.

Then Nato can declare victory and withdraw as it has in its other recent wars, from Iraq to Afghanistan, and concentrate on its current proxy war in Gaza, and its next direct military intervention. Meanwhile a war meant to weaken Russia and Putin has enormously strengthened both. Strange irony that lurks in events indeed."