Ukraine’s foreign minister said dialogue with Moscow was difficult because of disagreements on key issues, insisting that Kiev would not give up.
“The negotiation process was very difficult. The Ukrainian delegation showed a firm stance and did not give up its demands. We stressed the need for a ceasefire, ensuring Ukraine’s security and territorial integrity,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on March 25.
He added that Kiev and Moscow “have not reached a consensus” on key points. “Moreover, the Ukrainian language will be the only national language in Ukraine,” said Foreign Minister Kuleba.
The remarks came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Russia and Ukraine appeared to have reached agreement on four main issues in the negotiations, including language. Moscow has for years accused Ukraine’s Russian-speaking community of discrimination as one of the main reasons for its military campaign in the neighboring country.
After a month of hostilities, Russian troops have not yet captured any major Ukrainian cities, but confirm most of the objectives in phase one of the campaign have been completed.
General Sergei Rudskoy, head of the Operations Department of the Russian General Staff, said that Russia had no plans to enter besieged Ukrainian cities to minimize casualties. “This option is still open, but in the context of a significant reduction in the combat capability of the Ukrainian army, we will focus on the main objective free Donbass completely“, she says.
General Rudskoy announced that the Russian military destroyed 16 main airfields, as well as 39 logistics bases and weapons depots with 70% of Ukrainian weapons in a month of fighting. Eastern separatists control 93% of Lugansk Oblast and 54% of Donetsk Oblast, two regions in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said that it used Kalibr cruise missiles to destroy Ukraine’s largest military fuel depot in the village Kalynivka, near Kiev. It is the only remaining major fuel depot of the Ukrainian army, which provides logistics for troops in the central part of the country.
The Russian military also released new statistics on casualties, saying 1,351 soldiers killed and 3,825 people were injured. This is the second time Moscow has disclosed these figures, the first being on March 2.
The Russian Orthodox Church announced that Pastor Oleg Artyomov was killed in a Ukrainian rocket attack on the village of Zhuravlyovka in the southwestern province of Belgorod. This is the first reported death on Russian soil from artillery fire from Ukraine since Moscow’s military operation began. Kyiv has not yet commented.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense said Russia had “partially succeeded in” connecting the land corridor between Crimea and Donetsk Oblast“.
The announcement comes 10 days after Russia announced it had opened a land corridor between the Crimean peninsula and the Donbass region, providing a strategic route for Russian troops in Crimea to join the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), and allowing Russian-backed forces access to port cities. along the Sea of Azov.
The Ukrainian Air Force later said that its headquarters was in the city center vinnytsia attacked by missiles, causing significant infrastructure damage.
The front line around the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, has not changed much in recent weeks. The two main Russian armored convoys remained in positions northwest and east of the city. An intelligence report released by the British Ministry of Defense stated that Ukraine launched a counterattack, pushing some Russian troops back east. Kiev.
Volodymyr Borysenko, mayor of the city of Boryspol near Kiev’s main airport, said 20,000 civilians there had been evacuated as Ukrainian troops prepared to launch a counter-offensive.
southeast port city Mariupol is still the area that has experienced the most shootings and air strikes. Officials estimate there are still tens of thousands of people trapped in the city and without food, electricity and heating.
The Mariupol city council said today that according to eyewitness accounts, an estimated 300 people died “in the theater attack on March 16”. Ukraine accuses Russia of carrying out air strikes on these facilities, while Moscow rejected and said that “Azov’s nationalist battalion planted mines, blew up the theater”.
city Chernihiv, Kharkiv and sumy in the north and east of Ukraine also continued to be shelled, where Chernihiv was completely surrounded.
The United Nations has recorded 1,081 civilians killed and 1,707 injured since the conflict broke out, warning the real number could be much higher. More than 3.7 million Ukrainians have fled abroad, half of them to Poland, out of a total of more than 10 million people displaced by the fighting.
Vu Anh (Based on Interfax, Reuters)