More than 4 million people fled Ukraine in one month

New negotiations between Kiev and Moscow began on Tuesday in Istanbul. This while Ukraine claims to gradually regain territory, especially near the capital, more than a month after the start of the Russian invasion.

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators arrived in Istanbul on Monday for a first session of face-to-face talks since March 10, and Russian and Ukrainian negotiators began their discussions shortly after 07:30 GMT (08:30 Swiss time), according to the official Turkish agency Anadolu. The talks are being held at the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, the last residence of the Sultans in the Bosphorus region, where the Turkish Presidency has offices.

“Both sides have legitimate concerns,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said as he welcomed the delegations and called on them to “put an end to this tragedy.”

The last face-to-face negotiation session at Foreign Minister level in Antalya, Turkey, did not lead to progress. Discussions have since continued via video conference.

“Security Guarantees”

One of the key points in the discussions is about “security guarantees and neutrality, our state’s nuclear-weapon-free status,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Russian media on Sunday, accusing his colleague Vladimir Putin and his entourage of “dragging things out.” .

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dampened expectations on Monday, stressing the lack of “significant progress” in the negotiations so far.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kouleba said Monday night on his ministry’s website that Mr. Zelensky had “given very clear instructions” to the delegation. “People, territory and sovereignty are not negotiable”.

Solve humanitarian problems

According to him, the minimum goal of the discussions in Turkey is to solve the humanitarian problems and the ultimate goal is to achieve a stable ceasefire.

The conflict has already forced nearly 3.9 million Ukrainians to flee their country, according to the UN, which in turn will seek a “humanitarian ceasefire”.

Irpin “liberated” from the Russians

Ukrainian authorities announced Monday night that Irpin, the scene of violent fighting in the western suburbs of Kiev, had been “liberated” from Russian forces.

“The occupying forces have been pushed back from Irpin, pushed back from Kiev. However, it is too early to talk about security in this part of our region. The fighting continues. Russian troops are controlling the northern part of the Kiev region, have resources and manpower.” Mr. Zelensky in a video late Monday.

On Tuesday, the situation seemed relatively calm in this locality 20 km northwest of Kiev, where, however, sporadic shots could be heard, according to AFP journalists.

But “cleaning” is still going on

Soldiers, however, blocked journalists’ access to the destroyed bridge leading into the city, explaining that Ukrainian forces were still conducting a “mop-up” operation in the area.

“In my opinion, about 70 to 80% of the city is liberated, the external borders are still in the hands of the Russians,” said Roman Kovalevskiï, 48, a resident of the city who came out on a bicycle with cans of empty. gasoline to get supplies in kyiv.

A US defense official told him that the positions of the Russian forces were “static” around Kiev.

Wagner’s mercenaries around Kharkiv

But in the regions of Chernigiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Donbass and in southern Ukraine, “the situation remains tense everywhere, very difficult,” stressed President Zelensky on Monday night.

Around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, close to the Russian border, Russian mercenaries from the Wagner group have been deployed, the British Ministry of Defense said on Monday, estimating that more than a thousand of these men could be brought to rage in the country.

4 km east of Kharkiv, Ukrainian soldiers have regained control of the small village of Mala Rogan, AFP reported, which saw two bodies of Russian soldiers lying in an alley and several Russian armored vehicles destroyed.

Bombed Mykolaiv

In the south, a Russian bombardment hit the building of the regional administration in Mykolaiv, a city near Odessa, which has experienced a respite in the bombings in recent days, early Tuesday morning, said Vitaly Kim, the governor of this region. from southern Ukraine. on Facebook.

“We are looking for eight civilians and three soldiers” under the rubble, the official said.

Humanitarian corridors

Not far away, on the northern part of the Crimean peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014, the military official in the city of Kryvyi Rih on Tuesday night confirmed that Russian forces had been “pushed 40-60 km back from the city”.

Three humanitarian corridors have been set up in the region on Tuesday to evacuate civilians, particularly from the besieged city of Mariupol, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk told Telegram. On Monday, Kiev had decided not to open a corridor, claiming to fear Russian “provocations”.

Up to 10,000 died in Mariupol

Mr. Zelensky on Sunday condemned a total blockade of Mariupol, a strategic port city on the Sea of ​​Azov, which the Russian army has been trying to conquer since late February, with about 160,000 people still believed to be trapped.

According to Tetyana Lomakina, adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, “about 5,000 people” were buried there, “but people have not been buried for ten days due to the continuous bombings”. She estimated that there could actually be “about 10,000 dead”.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he would hold talks with the Kremlin resident on Tuesday “to secure the humanitarian operation in Mariupol”, specifying that the goal was to launch it “in the very next few days”. “Today there is a failure on the part of Russia to respect international humanitarian law,” he lamented.

Intentionally targeted civilians

A sentiment shared by NGO Amnesty International: “We are in deliberate attacks on civilian infrastructure, home”, bombings of schools, said NGO Secretary-General Agnès Callamard, who accused Russia of allowing humanitarian corridors to turn them into a “death trap”. “.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a “rehearsal” of Syria with a “multiplication of war crimes”, the NGO warned during the presentation on Tuesday in Johannesburg of its 2021-2022 report.

Still no war for Moscow

Meanwhile, the Kremlin continues to try to control the narrative of events. According to Mr. Lavrov is a decree being drafted to restrict access to Russian territory for nationals of countries that have committed “unfriendly” acts against Russia, which has been subject to a host of sanctions since the start of its offensive.

The Russian power passed several laws after its offensive, which provided severe punishments that could go up to fifteen years in prison, for disseminating what the authorities consider to be “false information” about the army.

The mere use of the word “war” by the media or individuals to describe the intervention in Ukraine can be prosecuted, with the Kremlin and its media using the term “special military operation”.

This article has been published automatically. Sources: ats / afp

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