Russia-Ukraine war news: Zelensky says Pakmut loss could allow Putin to push for unfavorable deal

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian forces should hang on to the front-line city of Pakmut. A loss there, he said, would give Russia’s leader more leverage to negotiate peace Agreement unfavorable to Ukraine. “Our community will be tired,” he said In an interview with The Associated Press. “Our society will push me to reconcile with them.”

Zelensky’s warning came after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said calls by some countries for a ceasefire in Ukraine could be a “very cynical trap”. China called for a ceasefire in Ukraine in February, while Russia unilaterally called for a 36-hour ceasefire on Orthodox Christmas the month before.

Here’s the latest news on war and its ripple effects around the world.

According to Western authorities, the real identity of Johns Hopkins graduate Victor Muller Ferreira is Sergei Serkazov. Cherkasov was an operative for Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU, who allegedly spent nearly a decade creating the fictitious Ferreira persona before being arrested by Dutch authorities, apparently acting on information released by the FBI, and later arrested in Brazil.

Serkazov’s life details provide an unusual glimpse into Russian efforts to embed “illegals” in the West as part of Moscow’s intelligence apparatus.

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