Home World Zelensky opens to negotiations on Donbass and Crimea; the EU seeks China’s mediation: what happened today

Zelensky opens to negotiations on Donbass and Crimea; the EU seeks China’s mediation: what happened today

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Zelensky opens to negotiations on Donbass and Crimea;  the EU seeks China’s mediation: what happened today

On the 13th day of the war, the evacuation of civilians from Ukrainian cities under Russian siege remains difficult, with continued violations of the ceasefire. Two million people have already fled the country, says the UN, but many others remain trapped and the humanitarian corridors seem to work only partially. The clash also escalates economically, with Biden’s announcement to block Russian oil imports that could push Moscow and reduce its gas supplies.

On the diplomatic level, something seems to be moving. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has returned to ask his citizens to resist and fight against the invader, but he has also opened up the possibility of discussing with the Russians the status of the pro-Russian Donbass and Crimea. The Russian foreign minister, Serghei Lavrov, and the Ukrainian minister, Dmytro Kuleba, will meet tomorrow in Antalya, Turkey.

Ukraine – Russia, today’s news from the war. Moscow: five humanitarian corridors opened. Kiev accuses, Mariupol does not come out. US and GB launch embargo on Russian oil and gas

Intermittent humanitarian corridors

In two weeks of war, 2 million people fled Ukraine, confirms the United Nations: Poland has welcomed more than 1.2 million refugees, more than any other nation. Russia and Ukraine had agreed to open five humanitarian corridors to allow people to escape the fighting, but they only partially worked. Several citizens managed to leave Irpin, in the metropolitan area of ​​Kiev, northwest of the capital, which in recent days was heavily bombed by Russians, and Sumy – where an airstrike killed 21 people on Monday – although for many it is difficult to reach the meeting point set for the evacuation from the city which is located in the north east of Ukraine, not far from the Russian border.

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In Mariupol, however, the Ukrainian authorities accuse the Russians of continuing to fire on the evacuation routes. The city has been under heavy siege for more than a week, at least 200 thousand people would like to escape: there is a lack of electricity and water and even humanitarian aid is unable to enter.
Moscow officials say most of the corridors for fleeing civilians, however, will lead to Russia either directly or through Belarus, an unacceptable condition for Kiev.

The bombing continues into the night

Last night, Russian planes continued shelling cities in eastern and central Ukraine. The outskirts of Kiev and two oil depots in two other cities have been hit. The mayor of Lviv said the city is struggling to feed and host the tens of thousands of people who have fled there from other parts of the country. More than 200,000 Ukrainians displaced from their homes are located in Lviv, housed in sports halls, schools and other buildings. A Russian general, Vitaly Gerasimov, was also killed in the fighting, according to Ukrainian military intelligence. He is the second Russian general killed since the invasion began, he allegedly fought with Russian forces in Syria and Chechnya.

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The opening of Zelensky on the Donbass and the Crimea

In an interview with the American broadcaster Abc, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was willing to discuss with the Russians a compromise on the territories of Donbass and Crimea, “on how these territories will continue to live”, but no surrender, which means that Kiev will not recognize any independence for the self-proclaimed republics as Moscow demands. The Ukrainian president also spoke to the British Parliament in the afternoon, receiving a standing ovation from the British parliamentarians. “We will not give up, we will fight to the end for our freedom”, he said, “but we need your help”.

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Diplomacy: Europe tries to involve China

The Russian foreign minister, Serghei Lavrov, and the Ukrainian minister, Dmytro Kuleba, will meet tomorrow in Antalya, Turkey. The meeting was organized by Turkey, and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will also participate. Ankara has close diplomatic and political ties with both Moscow and Kiev and is trying to carve out a mediating role. On the European front, it is Europe that seeks to build a path of dialogue by trying to involve China. A meeting is expected today between the French president, Emmanuel Macron, the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, and the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping.

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The American ban on Russian oil

The White House announced a ban on US imports of Russian oil and other energy products in response to the invasion of Ukraine. Washington hopes European allies will take similar measures: for now only Britain has announced that it will also ban oil imports from Russia. The EU is more cautious, because the impact on the old continent which depends heavily on Russian imports would be stronger. Brussels aims to hit more oligarchs and gradually reduce its dependence on Russian gas “well before 2030”.

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The victims

The UN human rights office said Tuesday that it had confirmed 474 civilian deaths in Ukraine since the war began on February 24. The number of confirmed civilian casualties now stands at 861, he said, although the actual numbers are likely considerably higher.

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