Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor said Friday on CNN’s “The Situation Room” that Russia’s tactical shift is a “big deal,” which shows the “Ukrainians have indeed stopped the Russian advance.”

Anchor Wolf Blitzer said, “Ambassador Taylor, how significant, potentially hugely significant, is it for Russia to say, their main goal, at least for them to be saying their main goal is to liberate Eastern Ukraine, compared to their original goal to potentially take order and set up a puppet government throughout the entire country?”

Taylor said, “You’re exactly right. This is a big deal. This demonstrates that the Ukrainians have indeed stopped the Russian advance. The Ukrainians have been fighting much harder than the Russians. We know that the Russian soldiers were not even sure why they were there. And we knew the Ukrainian soldiers knew exactly why they were there. Ukrainian soldiers knew they were fighting for their country, for their independence. So the Ukrainians are super motivated, and that has been demonstrated now. And I think what we’re seeing is a change in momentum. We’re clearly seeing the change in momentum in favor of the Ukrainians.”

He added, “President Putin will look now to some kind of negotiations, conceivably. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. But it is possible with this change in momentum. With the attack on Kyiv stalled, President Putin may be looking for a way back, a way down. And he can now say when he goes to these negotiations if that happens, that what he really wants is Donbas. What he really wants is recognition of Crimea. He’s not going to get that from the Ukrainians, but he can say that’s what he was after. He can sit down with the Ukrainians and have that conversation.”

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