Russia’s war on Ukraine - in pictures

Senior Russian official doesn’t see ‘any possibility’ for a diplomatic solution to the conflict

An Azov regiment soldier smokes a cigarette
Ukranian cities and infrastructure have been destroyed during the six-month battle
(Image credit: Andrey Borodulin/AFP via Getty Images)

Almost six months after Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, a senior Russian diplomat has said that it would be “impossible to forecast how long the conflict could last”.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, said this week: “Now, I do not see any possibility for diplomatic contacts. And the more the conflict goes on, the more difficult it will be to have a diplomatic solution.”

His comments “come despite a flurry of shuttle diplomacy in recent weeks” and are “a blow to negotiators” who had hoped that a recent deal on grain exports from Ukrainian ports “could form the basis for a broader deal”.

The countries’ forces are at “a near-operational standstill”, said Bloomberg, “with both sides more conscious that they face a marathon rather than a sprint”.

Russia is facing “an acute shortage of munitions and is struggling to replace lost personnel”, Western officials told the news site, but Ukraine “continues to be outgunned in the artillery duels of the Donbas, while the city of Kharkiv has again come under heavy bombardment”.

Russia has not said how many of its troops have been killed or wounded during the war, but Western officials believe the toll is between 70,000 and 80,000, said the BBC. The head of Ukraine’s armed forces said yesterday that the embattled nation has lost almost 9,000 military personnel.

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Julia O'Driscoll is the engagement editor. She covers UK and world news, as well as writing lifestyle and travel features. She regularly appears on “The Week Unwrapped” podcast, and hosted The Week's short-form documentary podcast, “The Overview”. Julia was previously the content and social media editor at sustainability consultancy Eco-Age, where she interviewed prominent voices in sustainable fashion and climate movements. She has a master's in liberal arts from Bristol University, and spent a year studying at Charles University in Prague.