Ukraine's defense minister Oleksii Reznikov claims that Russia is threatening Ukraine with escalation in their conflict, because it wants to sit down at the negotiating table on its own terms.
In an interview with NHK in Kyiv earlier this month, Reznikov said the Russians already know that their "special military operation" has failed.
He said they now have only one goal -- to preserve their own "regime."
Reznikov said their strategic goal is to sit down at the negotiation table with Ukraine on their own terms, and that is the aim of threatening escalation. He said the Russians want to save face and present themselves as the winner.
The defense minister said the Russians are seeking to take the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in a bid to make their military operation look like a success to their electorate. He noted that the Russian military is eager to seize control of Bakhmut, a Ukrainian stronghold in Donetsk.
Reznikov also stressed that Ukraine won't budge on its stance that it will enter into negotiations with Moscow only after Russian troops withdraw from the Ukrainian territory.