It is hard to say whether direct negotiations between the U.S. and Russia to end the war in Ukraine are a good thing. In principle they should be; one imagines, at least, that negotiations can’t hurt and might do some good.
On the other hand, diplomacy can be duplicitous. The negotiations in Ankara are likely a prelude to something. But what?
Russian forces have retreated from Kharkiv and Kherson to establish a fortified defensive line from which they are well positioned to launch new offensives into Ukraine. The line runs from the top of the Donbas region in the North East to the Dnieper River delta in the South West. Ukrainian forces have been unable to advance across the line of contact and appear unable to defend their own fortifications reliably.
These conditions, plus the onset of Winter, suggest the time is ripe to freeze the front. In effect, Ukraine has lost the war. The question now is whether the U.S. wants to take up the fight where Ukraine is leaving off.
I hope we don’t.