Russia and Ukraine are set to resume Monday after both sides hailed progress at earlier rounds aimed at ending more than two weeks of fighting. Three rounds of talks between the two sides in Belarus had focused mainly on humanitarian issues and led to the limited opening of some corridors for civilians to escape fighting.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday urged NATO to impose a no-fly zone over his country. He warned that its member states would soon be attacked by Russian forces after an air strike hit a Ukrainian military base close to the Polish border.
US President Joe Biden and France’s Emmanuel Macron underscored in a call on Sunday their commitment to holding Russia accountable for the invasion of Ukraine, the White House said in a statement.
UN agencies called for an immediate ceasefire and an end to attacks on health care professionals and facilities in Ukraine, which have killed 12 people, describing them as acts of “unconscionable cruelty”.
Fighting rages in the Kyiv suburbs as Russian forces advance ever closer to the capital. Only roads to the south remain open and Kyiv is preparing to mount a “relentless defence”, according to the Ukrainian president’s office.
The number of refugees fleeing Ukraine since the Russian invasion launched by President Vladimir Putin on February 24 is now nearly 2.7 million, the UN said. More than half have gone to Poland.
Pope Francis issued a heartfelt plea for an end to the “massacre” and the “unacceptable armed attack” in Ukraine, which Russian invaded last month. He condemned the “barbarity” of killing children and civilians, adding: “In the name of God… stop this massacre.”
Russia claimed an airstrike it carried out in Ukraine, near the Polish border, killed “180 foreign mercenaries” who had joined Kyiv’s army in its fight against Russia.
Electricity has been restored at Ukraine’s retired Chernobyl nuclear power plant that was seized by Russian forces in the first days of the invasion, said energy officials in Kyiv.
A US journalist was shot dead and another wounded on Sunday in Irpin, a frontline suburb of Kyiv that has witnessed some of the fiercest fighting since Russia invaded Ukraine. Video documentary maker Brent Renaud, 50, was working for Time Studios on a project about global refugee issues, the media outlet said.
With inputs from NDTV