Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday that there was a shrinking likelihood of holding talks with Vladimir Putin to end the war, adding that it could only happen if the Russian leader withdrew his forces from Ukrainian territory.
Speaking via a translator in an interview with Germany's Bild TV, Mr Zelenskiy said that Ukraine had no influence on when Putin's rule in Russia would end but wanted to speak to Moscow from a position of strength.
Mr Zelenskiy also repeated calls for Germany to supply weapons and air defence systems to Ukraine, saying they were needed to save lives.
Putin has ordered a partial mobilisation of reservists in Russia, in a measure that appeared to be an admission that Moscow’s war against Ukraine was not going according to plan after nearly seven months of fighting.
It is the first mobilisation in Russia since the Second World War and comes amid battlefield losses for the Kremlin’s forces in recent weeks.
The Russian leader, in a seven-minute televised address to the nation aired on Wednesday morning, also warned the West that he was not bluffing over using all the means at his disposal to protect Russia’s territory, in what appeared to be a veiled reference to his country’s nuclear capability.