Representatives from Russia and Ukraine will meet this week for a new round of talks aimed at ending the war. Ukraine said the two sides would meet in Turkey on Monday.
The Ukrainian military claimed Russia had withdrawn troops that were surrounding Kyiv after suffering significant losses in its latest operational report.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, used a video interview with independent Russian media outlets to signal his willingness to discuss having Ukraine adopt a “neutral status”, and also make compromises about the status of the eastern Donbas region, in order to secure a peace agreement with Russia. But he said he was not willing to discuss Ukrainian demilitarization, and that Ukrainians would need to vote in a referendum to approve their country adopting a neutral status.
In a separate late-night video, Zelenskiy promised to press this week for fresh sanctions against Russia and spoke of the impending new round of negotiations, saying: “We are looking for peace without delay.”
Zelenskiy also claimed that 2,000 children from Mariupol had been taken by russia, According to a press release published by the president’s office late on Sunday. “According to our data, more than 2,000 children were reported. Which means they were abducted. Because we do not know the exact locations of all these children. There were children with and without parents. It’s a catastrophe, it’s horrible.” Zelenskiy said the city remained blocked by the Russian military, describing the situation as a humanitarian catastrophe. “Food, medicine, and water can’t be delivered. The Russian troops are shelling humanitarian convoys and killing drivers.”
The US president, Joe Biden, has denied he is calling for regime change in Russiaafter he said during a visit to Poland that Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power”, When asked by a reporter if he wanted to see the Russian president removed from office, he said: “No.” The French president, Emmanuel Macron, had already distanced himself from Biden’s comments, while the UK cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi distanced the UK government from his comments.
Ukraine’s deputy prime minister accused Russia of “irresponsible” acts around the occupied Chernobyl power station that could send radiation across much of Europeand urged the United Nations to dispatch a mission to assess the risks in an update to her Telegram account.
The UK’s Ministry of Defense released its latest intelligence report, claiming there has been “no significant change” to Russian forces’ dispositions in Ukraine over the past 24 hours. An earlier report said Russia is “effectively isolating Ukraine from international maritime trade, in an update late on Sunday. It also said Russian naval forces were continuing to conduct sporadic missile strikes against targets across Ukraine.
Putin is seeking to split Ukraine into two, emulating the postwar division between North and South Korea, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief has said. In comments that raise the prospect of a long and bitter frozen conflict, Gen Kyrylo Budanov, warned of bloody guerrilla warfare.
The French foreign minister said on Sunday there would be “collective guilt” if nothing was done to help civilians in Mariupolthe Ukrainian city besieged by Russian forces.
Schools in Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv will reopen today via remote learning online.