Tass reports the negotiations between the Ukrainian and Russian delegations lasted for 90 minutes today, and are now continuing in the format of working groups. “The meeting lasted from 10.30am to 12 noon with the official delegations. Then came the working groups again. Today we work all day,” said a member of the Ukrainian delegation David Arahamiya, quoted by the UNIAN agency. No further information was provided on the progress of the talks.
3.5 million Ukrainians have fled
Nearly 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled the country since the Russian invasion began, reports UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi in his latest report, which invites neighbouring countries to show great compassion for their “extreme situation”. According to UNHCR, 3,489,644 Ukrainians have left the country since February 24, a number that exceeds Sunday’s figure by 100,600. “In the last four weeks the world has looked on in disbelief. Countless lives have been lost while millions of others have been completely turned upside down,” he said.
Russia trying to starve Mariupol into surrender
A Ukrainian MP has accused Russia of trying to starve the besieged port city of Mariupol into surrendering. Dmytro Gurin was speaking soon after Ukraine rejected a Russian deadline demanding Mariupol’s defenders lay down their arms in exchange for safe passage out of the city. Mariupol is a key strategic target for the Russian military. Around 300,000 people are believed to be trapped there with supplies running out and aid blocked from entering. Residents have endured weeks of Russian bombardment with no power or running water. And their suffering has continued after their latest attempts to agree to a humanitarian corridor had failed. Ukraine said such corridors, agreed with the Russian authorities, do not include Mariupol itself. Gurin said there was no question of Mariupol surrendering.
Situation in Mariupol: ‘Hell on earth’
There are mounting concerns about the humanitarian situation in Mariupol, with Yaroslav Zhelezniak, a Ukrainian MP from the city, calling it “hell on Earth”. Residents spend most of their time in shelters and basements as Russia continues its unrelenting attack on the city, from land, air and sea. Pictures show a city in ruins, with entire neighbourhoods devastated. The mayor, Vadym Boychenko, estimated that over 80% of residential buildings had either been damaged or destroyed, a third of them beyond repair. Bodies are being left in the streets as it is too dangerous to get them. Since the war began, authorities say at least 2,500 people have been killed in Mariupol although the true figure may be higher. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of war crimes in Mariupol, where heavy fighting has now reached the city centre.
Zelensky vows to ‘shoot down’ Russian pilot who attacked shelter
President Zelensky as meanwhile vowed to ‘shoot down’ the Russian pilot who attacked shelter in Mariupol. During a video address, he said he would eliminate the Russian pilot who attacked an art school in Mariupol over the weekend where around 400 civilians were taking shelter. “They are under the rubble, and we don’t know how many of them have survived,” he said. “But we know that we will certainly shoot down the pilot who dropped that bomb, like about 100 other such mass murderers whom we already have downed.” Zelensky said 7,295 Ukrainians were evacuated from zones of combat on Sunday, including nearly 4,000 from Mariupol. He also hailed people in the southern city of Kherson for taking to the streets Sunday to protest the Russian occupation, showing “Ukrainian courage, armless against the occupiers.”
Heavy fighting reported north of Kyiv, killing 8
In Kyiv, eight people are reported dead in shelling on a residential area and shopping centre. Britain’s Ministry of Defence has said “heavy fighting continues north of Kyiv” as the “bulk of Russian forces remain more than 15 miles” from the centre of the city. The development comes as Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported heavy damage in Kyiv from a recent airstrike. “According to the Prosecutor Generalʼs Office of Ukraine, eight people died and large-scale destruction was caused,” it said in a tweet. “Russia continues to attack civilians.” Meanwhile, the fighting in Luhansk region also continues. This morning and over the past day, 12 residential buildings were also destroyed by Russians. Two people were wounded and five rescued from the rubble.”
Russia says 80 killed in training centre strike
Russia’s military is claiming that it has killed 80 foreign and Ukrainian troops after striking a training facility in the Rivne region in northwest Ukraine. “High-precision air-launched cruise missiles have struck a training centre for foreign mercenaries and Ukrainian nationalist formations,” Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, according to Reuters. Konashenkov claimed that 80 foreign and Ukrainian troops were killed in the attack, the Associated Press reports. A local Ukrainian military official confirmed a twin Russian missile strike on a training center in the Rivne region but did not provide any details on casualties, the AP added.
‘Russia has attacked a chemical plant’, Ukraine claims
Ukraine’s prosecutor general claimed Monday that a Russian shell has hit a chemical plant in Sumy, causing a leak in a 50-ton tank of ammonia that took hours to contain. Sumy regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy said the leak spread 1.5 miles in all directions from the Sumykhimprom plant, according to the Associated Press. The plant is on the eastern outskirts of the city, which has a population of about 263,000 and has been regularly shelled by Russian troops in recent weeks.
Russians steal five carriers from Berdyansk port
Oleksandr Starukh, governor of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, said Monday that Russians have stolen five carriers from Berdyansk port . The stolen ships were carrying tens of thousands of tons of grain. Eyewitnesses say the ships were stolen by Russian tugboats.