Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:
– Zelensky ‘studying’ neutrality –
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenksy says Kyiv’s negotiators are studying a Russian demand for Ukrainian neutrality, which Kyiv had previously rejected.
Speaking ahead of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia in Turkey, Zelensky says: “This point of the negotiations is understandable to me and it is being discussed, it is being carefully studied.”
He also concedes it will be “impossible” to push Russia out of all Ukrainian territory, saying to do so “would mean World War III.”
– No breakthrough in talks: Russia –
The Kremlin says previous rounds of talks have made little progress.
“So far we cannot state any significant achievements or breakthroughs,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says, while hailing the fact that the two sides were preparing for their first face-to-face talks in weeks.
– Biden comment ‘alarming’ –
The Kremlin on Monday says U.S. President Joe Biden’s description of Putin on Saturday as a “butcher” who “cannot remain in power” is “alarming.”
“We will continue closely monitoring statements of the U.S. president,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says of the remarks.
Biden’s off-the-cuff remarks have been widely criticized, with the White House forced to clarify that he is not advocating regime change in Russia.
– Ukraine halts evacuations –
Ukraine says it is pausing evacuations of civilians from war-scarred regions for fear of attacks by Russian troops on humanitarian corridors.
The foreign ministry describes the situation in the southern port city of Mariupol, where tens of thousands of civilians remain encircled by Russian forces, as “catastrophic.”
France, Greece and Turkey are trying to organize mass evacuation from the city.
– New fires in Chernobyl zone –
“Significant” new fires have broken out in the exclusion zone around the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which is occupied by Russian forces, Ukrainian authorities say.
“It is impossible to control and extinguish fires in full due to the capture of the exclusion zone by the Russian occupation forces,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says on Telegram.
– Heineken leaves Russia –
Dutch brewer Heineken becomes the latest multinational to pull out of Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Heineken says that it was “no longer sustainable nor viable” to remain in the country and said it would seek to “transfer” its business to a new owner, profit-free.
– Oscars silence for Ukraine –
Hollywood A-listers hold a moment of silence at Sunday’s Oscars gala to show support for the people of Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion, after much speculation about how Tinseltown would handle the issue.
– Korea model for Ukraine? –
Ukraine says Putin may aim to divide the country into versions of North and South Korea because of Putin’s failure to “capture Kyiv and remove Ukraine’s government”.
“There are reasons to believe that he may try to impose a separation line between the occupied and unoccupied regions of our country,” Kyrylo Budanov, chief of the defense intelligence, says in a statement.
– Name and shame –
An American professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld who has published a name-and-shame list of Western companies that are staying in Russia accuses them of acting purely out of “greed.”
“It’s disgusting that any of these companies (that stay in Russia) try for some humanitarian or paternalistic employer arguments,” he tells AFP.
“When ceasefires are openly violated by the Russians or when you have children’s hospitals being bombed, there’s no middle ground here.”
– Nearly 3.9 million refugees –
The United Nations’ refugee agency, UNHCR, says 3,862,797 Ukrainians have fled the country.
Around 90 percent of them are women and children.