When I first spoke with peacebuilding and conflict resolution scholar Andrew Blum at the end of March, we discussed writing about how peace talks work. Ukraine and Russia had been holding peace negotiations, and it seemed reasonable to think they might hatch a deal to end the war.

Since then, the violence has only worsened and grown uglier, amid reports of Russian soldiers raping women and systematically murdering civilians. Currently, the prospect of peace seems very far away.

But understanding how peace talks work – and why they fail – remains useful when thinking about why the two countries are still fighting, and what it might take to end the war.

We asked Blum five key questions to help explain peace talks.

“Negotiators must sit across from those they believe have killed their sons and daughters," Blum writes. "This means that there must be compelling, strategic reasons to negotiate.”

Also today:

Amy Lieberman

Politics + Society Editor

Peace activists demonstrate outside the European Commission building on March 22, 2022, in Brussels. Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

Why do peace talks fail? A negotiation expert answers 5 questions about the slim chances for a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine

Andrew Blum, University of San Diego

Russia and Ukraine have held several rounds of failed peace talks. Understanding the challenges to successful peace talks helps illuminate the struggle for peace in Eastern Europe.

Ethics + Religion

Arts + Culture

Economy + Business

Politics + Society

Health + Medicine

Environment + Energy


Science + Technology

Trending on site

Today's graphic

More from The Conversation US