War in Ukraine: Latest developments
KYIV — Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:
Russia to scale down Kyiv attacks
Russia says it will “radically” reduce its military activity around the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and the northern city of Chernigiv after “meaningful” progress in peace talks held in Istanbul.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says the talks yielded the “most significant progress” since the war began.
Putin, Zelensky meeting possible–Russia, Ukraine
Ukraine’s top negotiator says enough progress had been made at the talks in Turkey to enable a meeting between the presidents of the two countries.
“The results of today’s meeting are sufficient for a meeting at the leaders’ level,” David Arakhamia says.
Biden, Europe urge caution
The leaders of the United States, UK, France, Germany and Italy urge the West not to drop its guard against Russia.
“They agreed there could be no relaxation of Western resolve until the horror inflicted on Ukraine is over,” they said, according to a read-out from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office.
They also agree during telephone talks to “continue raising costs on Russia”, the White House says, with President Joe Biden saying the West needs to see if Russians “follow through” on de-escalation.
Putin stands firm on Mariupol
Russian President Vladimir Putin tells French counterpart Emmanuel Macron Ukrainian “nationalists” in the embattled port city of Mariupol must lay down their arms “in order to resolve the difficult humanitarian situation”, the Kremlin says.
The French presidency says the conditions for carrying out a humanitarian operation sought by France to help citizens in the besieged port are not met “at this stage.”
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the month-long Russian siege of the city, where at least 5,000 people have died since the invasion began according to Ukrainian estimates, a “crime against humanity”.
Ukraine seeks long-term security guarantees
Ukraine says it is prepared to become neutral in return for an international agreement guaranteeing its security.
Ukrainian negotiator Arakhamia says the guarantee would resemble Article 5 of Nato’s founding treaty, which requires member states to come to each other’s aid in case of an attack.
Nato no, EU yes
Ukraine reiterates that it will not join “any military-political alliance” — a reference to Nato — or host foreign military bases on its soil, key demands of Russia.
Kyiv insists, however, that Ukraine be allowed to seek EU membership. It proposes to defer the thorny question of the future status of Crimea and the breakaway Donbas region.
Ruble and stocks up, oil down
Oil prices dive and European stock markets close higher on the positive news from the talks.
The ruble surges by more than 10 percent against the dollar while oil falls by more than five percent.
Seven killed in Mykolaiv strike
At least seven people are killed in a Russian strike on a regional government building in the key southern port of Mykolaiv, Zelensky tells Danish MPs.
Ukraine says it is resuming the evacuation of civilians from war-scarred regions after a one-day pause over what it called the threat of Russian attacks.
“Three humanitarian corridors were agreed for today,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says on Telegram.
EU countries expel diplomats
EU countries Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and the Czech Republic announce the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats suspected of spying, in coordinated action taken in the shadow of Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
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