The first round of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in over two weeks have wrapped up as Moscow promises to scale back its assault on Kyiv
The steps discussed at the meeting was one of the first signs so far that progress is being made towards peace, but Western officials stress caution.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says there is a distinct difference between what Russia says it will do and what actually happens.
While in Britain, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will wait to see how Moscow moves forward before making any judgement.
Ukraine has also proposed adopting a neutral status during the talks, which took place in Turkey’s capital of Istanbul.
Russia’s deputy defence minister says the decision to reduce military activity in Kyiv was made “to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations” in the hope of signing a peace agreement.
Putin’s assault of Ukraine has been confronted by strong Ukrainian resistance, with Ukraine’s military recapturing territory… as many civilians remain trapped in besieged cities, like Mariupol.
This is vastly different to the scenes the world witnessed during Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.
Zelensky addresses the U.N. as protests break out in Russia
Zelensky addresses the U.N. as protests over Putin’s mobilisation plan break out in Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
Zelensky says his nation just wants peace and believes Russia should be punished and ostracised for its actions.
“A crime has been committed against Ukraine and we demand just punishment. The crime was committed against our state borders. The crime was committed against the lives of our people,” Zelensky said. “Ukraine demands punishment for trying to steal our territory”.
In the powerful speech, the Ukrainian President also called for Russia to lose its U.N. veto power. Russia is currently one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.
He is also seeking more military aid, pleading for more weapons to help liberate his country’s land.
Protests engulf major Russia cities
In Russia, police have arrested hundreds of protestors who are rallying against Vladimir Putin’s military mobilisation.
Human rights group OVD Info estimates more than 1,000 people have been taken into custody so far. The largest number of arrests were made in St Petersburg and Moscow.
As the Kremlin announced its intention to call up thousands of extra troops to fight the warn in Ukraine, flights departing Russia sold out almost immediately.
The mobilisation will likely see at least 300,000 military reservists drafted to bolster Russia’s forces.
In Moscow, the prosecutor’s office is warning that calls on the internet to join protests, or participation in these protests, could result in up to 15 years in jail time.
Russia’s disinformation laws about the war have made public demonstrations rare.
In his first national televised address since the war began, Putin said he will use “all available means” to protect Russian territory.
In theory, this could include nuclear weapons.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance remains vigilant.
“We will make sure that there is no misunderstanding in Moscow about exactly how we will react. Of course it depends upon what kind of situation or what kind or weapons they may use. The most important thing is to prevent that from happening and that is why we have been so clear in our communications with Russia about the unprecedented consequences,” Stoltenberg said.
Meanwhile, Putin’s mobilisation follows weeks of heavy losses for Russia in Ukraine, with Kyiv recapturing a huge area just east of Kharkiv.
U.S. to provide Ukraine with tanks in the future
U.S. to provide Ukraine with tanks in the future, but there is a catch
The U.S. will provide tanks to Ukraine in the future, but issues with maintenance and training may delay the rollout.
Ukraine has received billions of dollars worth of weapons and military equipment, allowing the war-torn nation to defend itself against Putin’s regime.
Russian forces are continuing to “conduct airstrikes that are impacting civilian infrastructure”, most recently striking a “dam near Kryvyi Rih”, according to a top U.S. official.
“This disturbing pattern which includes strikes that hit power stations last week continues to show Russian forces’ disregard for civilian life,” the official added.
When it comes to further military aid, the offical confirmed tanks are “absolutely on the table”, but are not an option for the immediate battle.
Once training, maintenance and sustainment issues are addressed, the roll out is more likely.
This follows verified reports Ukraine has successfully shot down 55 Russian
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed there would be no let-up in fighting to regain
territory lost to Russia.
Mass burial site discovered in Ukraine
A mass grave with over 400 bodies has been found in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region
The price of war is beginning to reveal itself in Ukraine as a mass grave, with over 400 bodies has been discovered in the recently liberated Kharkiv region.
The burial site was found in the city of Izyum, an area captured by Russian forces at the beginning of the war, and a victim to ultimate brutality.
Over recent days, Ukrainian forces have recaptured the area. So far, they have discovered over 1000 bodies in the city, with this number rising every day.
The mass grave site shows the extent of Russia’s atrocities, although Russia denies responsibility.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is launching an investigation and says “Russia leaves death everywhere and it must be held accountable for that.”
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