On Monday, the Kremlin eased expectations that personal talks with Ukrainian negotiators scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday would lead to an agreement to end Russia’s deadly, destructive invasion.
“Unfortunately, we cannot say that there have been any significant achievements or breakthroughs so far,” Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian president, said on Monday. But he said a personal meeting in Turkey could allow for “more focused, closer and meaningful” talks.
The talks came at a time when the mayor of Mariupol called for the evacuation of the remaining 160,000 residents, saying the city was virtually without food, water, electricity and other supplies.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has rejected a recent call by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to meet with President Vladimir Putin, saying it would be counterproductive until Ukraine and Russia are close to agreeing on key issues.
On Sunday, Zelensky told independent Russian journalists that his government would consider declaring neutrality and offering guarantees of Russia’s security. According to him, this pact will include the preservation of nuclear-free Ukraine.
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But Zelensky said the adoption of neutral status should be guaranteed by third parties and put to a referendum by Ukrainian voters after the withdrawal of Russian troops – within months of the withdrawal of Russian troops.
Russia almost immediately banned the publication of Zelensky’s remarks. Raskomnadzor, Russia’s federal communications agency, issued a ban Sunday and said measures could be taken against the Russian media involved, including “foreign media outlets acting as foreign agents.”
Russia recently passed law faces up to 15 years in prison for those who publish information that contradicts Moscow’s narrative of the war.
►Visa measures are being developed in Russia in response to “unfriendly countries”, said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
►Irpin, a 60,000-strong suburb of Kyiv, has been liberated from Russian troops, said Mayor Alexander Markushin. “We understand that our city will attack more, we will defend it. Irpen is Ukraine,” he said.
►Schools in Kyiv reopened online training on Monday. Teachers were told not to overload students who were already tense from the war.
►Russia, which for the first time in several weeks publishes information about its losses in Ukraine, reports that as of Friday, 1,351 servicemen were killed and 3,825 wounded. NATO has estimated several thousand Russian deaths, but recognition of the true number is difficult to determine.
►The award for Ukraine took 30 seconds of silence, starting with the honor of Mila Kunis, a native of Ukraine.
The Navy is sending planes to Germany to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank
The Pentagon is sending six Navy planes specializing in suppressing enemy air defenses to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday. Navy EA-18 Growlers are based on Widby Island, Washington, and will be sent to Spangdale Air Force Base in Germany, Kirby said. They will not carry out missions in Ukraine against Russian forces. The deployment will include about 240 pilots, crews and escorts.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has deployed military planes to keep “options open,” Kirby said.
“They are not being sent because of some acute threat that has been perceived, or because of a specific incident that has taken place,” Kirby said.
– Tom Vanden Brook
Russia’s Nobel laureate has suspended Novaya Gazeta.
The independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta stopped on Monday after receiving a second warning from the State Agency for Roskomnadzor. The publication was summoned on Monday after a banned interview with Zelensky.
“After that, we suspend the publication of the newspaper in the networks and on paper until the end of the” special operation in Ukraine “, – said in a statement on Twitter. The Kremlin calls its invasion of Ukraine a special operation. Earlier, Novaya Gazeta was ordered to remove articles about the war from its website.
The founder and editor of the publication Dmitry Muratov was a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021. Muratov was praised for his “efforts to protect freedom of expression, which is a prerequisite for democracy and lasting peace.”
The mayor of Mariupol calls for a complete evacuation
Mayor Vadim Boychenko said that the Russian shelling of the southern port city of Mariupol made it impossible to live there, and the remaining 160,000 civilians must be evacuated. He said the city, where more than 400,000 people lived before the war, had virtually no water, heat, electricity, food or communications. The Ukrainian government believes that 5,000 civilians were killed in the siege of the city by Russia, which began on March 1. More than 200 of those killed were children, the government said.
Boychenko told the local agency UNIAN that 40% of residential buildings in Mariupol are now uninhabitable.
“The city is surrounded, and that circle is certainly shrinking,” he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine wrote on Twitter: “While #Mariupol is besieged and bombed, people are fighting for survival. The humanitarian situation in the city is catastrophic. #The Russian Armed Forces are turning the city to dust.”
Russian stocks fall on the first day of full trading after the invasion
The Moscow Stock Exchange fell 2.2% on Monday, the first day all stock trading has been allowed since the start of the war. Some breakers were in place to limit volatility.
The war began on February 24, and the next day Russian stocks fell by about a third. Since then, trade has not existed or is restricted. Foreigners remain banned from trading until Friday.
Shares of Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, fell nearly 5% on Monday. Last week, CEO Herman Gref, a close adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin for decades, was added to the U.S. sanctions list. Lukoil, Russia’s largest oil company, fell 1.7%.
Tensions over Russia’s energy sector are mounting
The G7 countries have agreed to reject Russia’s demand to pay for imports of Russian energy in rubles, Germany’s energy minister said on Monday. Robert Habek told reporters on Monday that “all G-7 ministers have fully agreed that this is (will be) a unilateral and obvious breach of existing contracts.”
Russia supplies about two-thirds of its natural gas to Germany, half of its coal and one-third of its oil.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the demand for payment in rubles remained and warned that “we obviously will not supply gas for free.”
Zelensky hopes for negotiations
Ukraine’s priorities in the talks in Turkey this week will be “sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelnesky.
“We are looking for peace, indeed, without delay,” Zelensky said. “There is a possibility and necessity of a personal meeting in Turkey. That’s not bad. Let’s look at the result. “
The leader in the parliament of the “Servant of the People” faction of President Vladimir Zelensky David Arahami said on Facebook that the personal talks were agreed in a video consultation. The parties met several times without reaching an agreement.
– Selina Tebor
Contributed by: Associated Press
The war in Ukraine threatens to feed the Arab world
From Lebanon, Iraq and Syria to Sudan and Yemen, millions of people in the Middle East, whose lives have already been disrupted by conflict, displacement and poverty, are now wondering where their next dishes will come from.
Ukraine and Russia account for a third of the world’s wheat and barley exports, which the Middle East counts on to feed millions of people living on subsidized bread and good noodles. They are also leading exporters of other grains and sunflower oil used for cooking.
Even before the war in Ukraine, people in the Middle East and North Africa were not getting enough food. Now, due to trade disruptions caused by the conflict, more and more goods are becoming either unavailable or unavailable.
“Simply put, people cannot afford the quality or quantity they need, and those in countries affected by conflict and crisis … are most at risk,” said Lama Fakih, director of the Middle East. and North African Human Rights Watch.
Refugees fleeing Ukraine
In just one month after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than 3.6 million refugees have been forced to leave the country, making this refugee crisis the fastest growing since World War II. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Another 6.5 million people have been relocated within Ukraine and more than 12 million have been affected in the areas hardest hit by the war.
Humanitarian needs are growing exponentially.
“Many people remain trapped in areas of escalating conflict and, when basic services are disrupted, are unable to meet their basic needs, including food, water and medicine,” the agency said in a newsletter. “Delivering rescue aid remains difficult due to a lack of safe humanitarian access.”
– Swap Venugopal Ramaswami