Let’s See If We Can Go Further, Says Zelenskyy on Talks With Russia, Promises Cooperation in Civilians’ Evacuation

between Russia and Ukraine,” said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

Negotiator from the Ukrainian side, Denis Kireev, was killed by the Security Service of Ukraine on ‘Suspicion of Treason’, Russian news agency RIA said on Saturday. A member of the first delegation of Ukraine at the negotiations with Russia was killed during the arrest, it said.

Officials in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Saturday said they were delaying an evacuation of the civilian population, accusing Moscow’s troops of breaking a ceasefire, according to AFP news agency. “Due to the fact that the Russian side does not adhere to the ceasefire and has continued shelling both of Mariupol itself and its environs and for security reasons, the evacuation of the civilian population has been postponed,” city officials said in a statement on social media.

While the Russian ceasefire does not extend to eastern Ukraine, India is in touch with both Russian and Ukrainian authorities to evacuate students stuck in Sumy after its implementation, sources told CNN-News18. The students have issued desperate pleas for help in Sumy, and said on Saturday that they had witnessed an airstrike near their hostel.

Ukraine’s strategic port city of Mariupol is under a “blockade” by the Russian army after days of “ruthless” attacks, its mayor said on Saturday, calling for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor. “For now, we are looking for solutions to humanitarian problems and all possible ways to get Mariupol out of the blockade,” said Vadim Boychenko in a message posted on Telegram.

Russian forces are now only 32 kilometres (20 miles) away from Ukraine’s second largest nuclear facility, the Yuzhnoukrainsk Nuclear Power Station in Mykolaiv Oblast, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield has said. Meanwhile, multiple blasts have been reported in Kharkiv, and residents have been asked to seek their nearest shelter for safety.

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Monday on the humanitarian crisis triggered in Ukraine by the Russian invasion, diplomats said Friday. After this public session, the 15 members of the council will confer behind closed doors to discuss a possible draft resolution, a diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP.

This latter meeting has been proposed by Mexico and France, who are pushing a draft that calls for an end to hostilities in Ukraine, unhindered flow of humanitarian aid and protection of civilians. But it has run into obstacles, namely a warning from the United States that it will not support such a draft unless it states explicitly that Russia has caused the humanitarian crisis, another diplomat told AFP.

France originally wanted a vote last Tuesday but it did not happen. Now, diplomats say France has shifted and in light of US criticism is no longer pushing for a vote as quickly as before. Any draft resolution that criticizes Russia by name is doomed because Russia has veto power on the Security Council.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, leading his country’s battle against the Russian invasion, will address the US Senate on Saturday, a US legislative aide said. Zelensky will speak to senators via Zoom in the morning Washington time at the request of Ukraine. As the war in Ukraine intensifies, some US lawmakers are urging President Joe Biden to take a tougher stance against Russia, such as by suspending imports of its oil.

The White House has ruled this out so far, fearing it might cause rising oil prices to go up even more and hurt US consumers stung by record inflation. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has called for “somebody in Russia” to assassinate President Vladimir Putin.

Zelensky himself is strongly urging NATO to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine to halt bombing raids but the Biden administration has ruled this out, fearing it might lead to an all-out war between the West and Russia, although some US lawmakers support the creation of such a zone.

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