The fourth round of negotiations over a potential ceasefire and withdrawal of troops between Russian and Ukrainian officials began Monday. The discussions are being held via videoconference and follow a previous unsuccessful round talks in Belarus, and a meeting between the countries’ foreign ministers in Turkey last Thursday. Observers noted there are signs which offer a glimmer of hope for progress to end the war. On Sunday evening, Russian negotiator Leonid Sloutski reported “significant progress”, telling Russian news agencies that “this progress will lead very soon to a common position between the two delegations and to documents being signed”. But Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, called the discussion “hard”. He tweeted that Moscow had stopped issuing “ultimatums” to Kyiv and started to “carefully listen to our proposals”.
Russian missile slams into Kyiv apartment
At least one person was killed and three others were hospitalised after a Russian missile slammed into a nine-storey residential building in Kyiv, authorities said. Fifteen people were rescued and 63 evacuated, but rescue efforts are ongoing, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said. Photos show the building engulfed in flames with charred debris scattered below.
Separatists say 16 dead in Donetsk
Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine said Monday that a strike by Kyiv’s forces on the rebel de facto capital Donetsk left at least 16 people dead, ahead of talks to resolve the war. Rebel officials said that fragments from a Ukrainian Tochka missile that was shot down had landed in the centre of the city leaving more than a dozen dead with many more injured. “Sixteen deaths have been recorded,” the self-proclaimed region’s health ministry said, adding that another 23 people had been injured.
Ukrainian pregnant woman, baby, die after Russian air strike
Both the Ukrainian expectant woman seen in a viral photo being carried out on a stretcher after Russian forces bombed a maternity hospital in Mariupol and her baby have died, according to a report. The Associated Press captured photos and video of the publicly unidentified woman – lying on a stretcher beneath a blanket with an empty look on her face while clutching her lower abdomen – as rescuers carried her through the rubble. Behind them, windows were blown out on the badly damaged façade of the hospital in an image that shocked the world and exemplified to Western officials the horrors of Russia’s aggression toward civilians. The woman was rushed to another hospital, yet closer to the frontline, where doctors laboured to keep her alive. Realising she was losing her baby, medics said, she cried out to them, “Kill me now!” Surgeon Timur Marin found the woman’s pelvis crushed and hip detached. Medics delivered the baby via cesarean section, but it showed “no signs of life,” the surgeon told the AP.
20th century lessons not received – Pope
The Pope has said that “various regional wars and especially the ongoing war in Ukraine show that those who govern the fate of peoples have not yet understood the lesson of the tragedies of the twentieth century. In an audience with Industrial Union of Lazio, the Pope said it was necessary that politics and the economy, in constant dialogue with each other, place themselves decisively at the service of life, human life and the life of creation… not at the service of non-life and death as unfortunately sometimes happens”. Referring to the need for a politics and an economy at the service of the “common good”, he added, “The great financial crisis of 2007-2008 should have pushed in this direction but it seems to me that basically the world has continued and continues to be governed by obsolete criteria. Not to mention the geopolitical-military sphere”.
Over 2.8 million people have fled Ukraine – UN
The UN Refugee Agency has said that more than 2.8 million people had fled Ukraine after the Russian invasion. Meanwhile, according to reports from the international media the death toll in Mariupol has risen to over 2,500 since the beginning of the Russian invasion. The advisor to the presidency of Kyiv, Oleksiy Arestovych, said, “this is a catastrophe that the world has not given due weight”.
Russia won’t rule out launching assaults to capture major cities
The Kremlin has warned that Russia doesn’t rule out launching military assaults to take full control of major Ukrainian cities “that are already surrounded” a spokesperson said on Monday afternoon, adding that so far there are no orders to carry out any assaults. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he will embark on a trip to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE in a bid to “engage in economical cooperation” after the Western allies hit Moscow with sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine. The US says Russia has asked China for military help for the war in Ukraine. The claim came ahead of a key meeting in Rome between senior American and Chinese security officials on Monday.