ISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for a ceasefire as Russian and Ukrainian delegations resume talks in Istanbul.
In a speech he delivered early on Tuesday, Erdogan said progress in the talks could pave the way for a meeting between the leaders of the two countries.
“We believe there will be no losers in a just peace. Prolonging the conflict is in no one’s interest,” Erdogan said. “As members of the delegations, you have assumed a historic responsibility. The whole world is waiting for the good news that will come from you.
The delegations are to hold two days of talks in a government building adjacent to the 19th-century Ottoman palace, Dolmabahce, on the banks of the Bosphorus.
Political cartoons about world leaders
Earlier talks between the sides, held in person in Belarus or via video, failed to bring an end to the month-long war that has killed thousands and driven more than 10 million Ukrainians from at home, including nearly 4 million from their country.
Ahead of the talks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country was ready to declare its neutrality, as Moscow had demanded, and was open to a compromise over the fate of Donbass, the disputed region in the east of the country.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINE WAR:
— A new round of talks aimed at stopping the war in Ukraine is scheduled for Tuesday
– Asian stocks rose ahead of Russian-Ukrainian peace talks
— Ukrainian forces say they recaptured a Kyiv suburb and an eastern town from the Russians
KYIV, Ukraine – The Ukrainian military says Russia has destroyed more than 60 religious buildings across the country in just over a month of war.
In a message on Tuesday, the military said the Orthodox Church – the country’s majority religion – was the most affected, but mosques, synagogues, Protestant churches and religious schools were also destroyed.
On a map provided by the army, the destruction appears to be concentrated around kyiv and in the east of the country.
UNITED NATIONS – The head of the United Nations has launched an initiative to immediately explore possible arrangements for “a humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine” to allow the delivery of desperately needed aid and pave the way for more serious political negotiations to end the month-long war.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday he had asked Under-Secretary-General Martin Griffiths, the UN’s head of global humanitarian operations, to explore the possibility of a ceasefire with Russia and Ukraine. He said Griffiths had already made contact.
The 193-member UN General Assembly, overwhelmingly from around 140 countries, called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine twice – on March 2 and March 24 – and António Guterres told reporters that he thought “now is the time” for the United Nations “to take the initiative”.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the secretary-general said there had been “a senseless loss of thousands of lives”, the displacement of 10 million people, the systematic destruction of homes, of schools, hospitals and other critical infrastructure,” and soaring food and energy prices around the world.
LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Monday that Russian forces were still attacking kyiv, despite being driven out of Irpin, a suburb northwest of the capital that has seen heavy fighting.
He said the Russians still controlled the northern suburbs and were trying to regroup after losing Irpin on Monday. He urged Ukrainians not to relax the war.
“We still have to fight, we have to endure,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation. “We cannot express our emotions now. We can’t raise expectations just so we don’t burn out.
He said the situation remains tense in the northeast, around Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, as well as in the eastern region of Donbass and in the south around Mariupol, which remains blocked by Russian troops.
The president said no humanitarian corridors could be opened from the besieged city on Monday.
Zelenskyy said he spoke with the leaders of Azerbaijan, Britain, Canada and Germany on Monday, urging them to tighten sanctions against Russia.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon may have to ask Congress for additional funds to support Ukraine’s battle against the Russian invasion, including to replenish the US arsenal of weapons sent to kyiv, officials said Monday.
Rolling out the Department of Defense’s $773 billion request for fiscal year 2023, Pentagon leaders said the budget was finalized before the invasion, so it had no specific money for it. the war. Congress approved a $13.5 billion emergency funding package in early March.
Leaders said it was too early to predict how quickly Ukrainian forces will use the weapons and ammunition already provided, and how much the US will need to replace what it is sending to Ukraine, such as missiles Stinger and Javelin or body armor and such. equipment.
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