Ukraine’s defense minister said he was “optimistic” that the war with Russia could be over by the end of the year.
Oleksiy Reznikov discussed the conflict at the international security forum as the invasion reached its 100th day.
He said: “Russia continues to strive to occupy our entire state.
“It is currently impossible to predict when the war will end, but I am optimistic that it will be possible before the end of this year.”
However, he warned that other countries are in danger while Russia occupies parts of Ukraine.
He said: “Next are Poland, the Baltic countries, Slovakia and others.
“Therefore we must stop Russia and hold back (them) in the future.”
French President Emmanuel Macron drew criticism from Ukraine for his comments urging leaders not to “humiliate” Russia.
Mr Macron told a local French newspaper: “We must not humiliate Russia so that the day the fighting stops, we can use diplomatic means to build an exit ramp.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba hit back, writing on Twitter: “Calls to avoid humiliating Russia can only humiliate France and any other country that calls for it.”
He added: “We’d all better focus on how to put Russia in its place.”
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, troops are currently forcing Ukrainians to retreat across the Seversky-Donets River to Lysychansk.
British officials say Russia is sending significant troops to the area in a “creeping advance”.
Luhansk province would be under Moscow’s control if Russia completely took Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said the number of civilian bodies has now been exhumed in the Kyiv region since Russia’s military withdrawal exceeded 1,300.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/05/russia-ukraine-war-ukraine-defence-minister-hints-at-end-to-war-16771655/ Russia-Ukraine War: Ukrainian Defense Minister hints at end of war