"They're not analyzing that he is totally unreasonable," the ambassador added, noting French President Emmanuel Macron's repeated and failed efforts at dialogue with Moscow, which have been roundly condemned within Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine will most likely have to end with a negotiated settlement, as Putin himself has acknowledged.
"Unfortunately, there are people who still believe they can get through with the negotiations with Putin, because in their minds he has to be reasonable," the ambassador said.
Russia's full-scale invasion has deepened animosities between Moscow and the West, with top Kremlin officials framing the operation as a pre-emptive strike against Ukraine and its NATO partners to prevent an attack on Russia.
"The system made him this way," the ambassador said of Putin.
Even if Putin does fall, those most successfully building their political cachets in Moscow are cultivating ultra-nationalist pro-war—not moderate pro-dialogue—personas.
The threat along the Belarusian border remains, with Ukrainian officials warning that Minsk may finally throw its troops into Putin's morass in Ukraine. »