On Thursday, Russia accused Kyiv and Washington of ignoring its concerns and accused the US of using Ukraine as a battlefield to weaken Russia.

It came as President Vladimir Putin said Russia was committed to a speedy cessation of hostilities.

“Our goal is … to end this conflict. We are striving for this,” he told reporters. “We will strive to ensure that all this ends, and the sooner the better.”

“All conflicts one way or another end in negotiations… The sooner our opponents (in Kyiv) understand this, the better it will be,” Putin said.

The commander of the Moscow military said that Russian forces are currently focused on establishing control over the eastern part of the Donetsk region, where the destroyed city of Bakhmut has become the epicenter of hostilities.

Officials in Moscow have repeatedly said in recent months that they do not rule out talks with Ukraine.

They blamed the closure of diplomatic channels on President Volodymyr Zelensky, who said he would not negotiate as long as Putin was in power.

The Ukrainian leader returned from a historic trip to Washington, where he told Congress that his country is “alive and well” and its support is a contribution to global security.

He was hailed as a hero during Wednesday’s blitz ride, during which US President Joe Biden provided nearly $1.8 billion in military supplies, including, for the first time, the Patriot missile defense system.

Putin warned that this could further prolong the conflict, saying: “Those who oppose us say that this is a defensive weapon … There will always be an antidote.”

“People who do this do it in vain. It’s just prolonging the conflict, that’s all,” he told reporters.

Earlier, the Kremlin said that Biden and Zelensky are not listening to “Russia’s concerns.”

“Not a single word was heard warning Zelensky about the ongoing shelling of residential buildings in the cities and villages of Donbass, and there were no real calls for peace,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“This suggests that the United States continues the de facto line of indirect war with Russia to the last Ukrainian,” he added.

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Eddie Hudson is an Entertainment News Reporter and Fashion Stylist. Graduated with a degree in Television Production from Howard University. He is an award-winning entertainment news reporter at 24PalNews and credits his upbringing and passion for helping others as the foundation for his success.

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