Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that his government was studying “in depth” the question of Ukraine’s “neutrality”, one of the central points in negotiations with Russia to end the conflict, which are due to resume today. Follow the latest information live.
Russian mercenaries from the Wagner group have deployed in eastern Ukraine, the British Ministry of Defense said on Monday, which estimates that more than 1,000 fighters from the sulphurous paramilitary company could be brought to fight in the country.
“The Russian private military company of the Wagner group has deployed in eastern Ukraine,” the ministry said in a status update posted on its Twitter account. “They are expected to deploy over 1,000 mercenaries, including ISIS officials, to carry out combat operations.”
Ukraine announced on Monday evening that the town of Irpin, the scene of fierce fighting on the outskirts of kyiv, had been recaptured from Russian forces. “The city is now liberated, but it is still dangerous to be there,” said Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, confirming what the mayor of this town devastated by the fighting had said a little earlier.
Seven EU countries, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain, called on their nationals on Monday to refrain from volunteering to help Ukraine fight the Russian offensive, in a statement by their Ministers of Justice.
The ministers of these seven states “unanimously discouraged Europeans from joining” the ranks of the voluntary fighters, underlines the press release published at the end of the meeting of the “Vendôme group” by the Belgian Ministry of Justice. This group brings together the French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Luxembourg and Belgian Ministers of Justice.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced in late February the creation of an “international legion” to support his country’s army against Russia.
Joe Biden said on Monday he was not retracting his controversial remarks suggesting he wanted his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin out of power because they expressed personal ‘outrage’ and not a ‘policy’ for change of diet.
“I do not withdraw them” and “I do not apologize”, he said to the press. “I was just expressing my outrage,” “but that doesn’t mean we have a fundamental policy change,” he added.
European Commissioner Ylva Johansson said on Monday that refugees from Ukraine should be “encouraged” to go to EU countries that are less under pressure than Poland, during an extraordinary meeting of ministers of the Interior of the 27 in Brussels.
Of the 3.8 million people who fled the Russian offensive in Ukraine, 1.5 million are currently hosted in Ukraine, according to the Commission, which specifies that the number of arrivals in the EU has slowed down, to now set at some 40,000 a day, compared to 200,000 at the peak of the influx.
Quotas for the distribution of refugees – as decided during the 2015-2016 crisis – are not on the agenda and discussions between Member States to relieve the countries bordering Ukraine are on a voluntary basis. , via a solidarity platform, on which they present their reception capacities.
The head of Russian diplomacy announced that a decree was in preparation to limit access to Russian territory to nationals of countries responsible for “unfriendly” acts, in the midst of a wave of sanctions against Moscow since its offensive in Ukraine.
“A draft presidential decree is being prepared to introduce retaliatory measures, regarding visas, in connection with the unfriendly actions of several foreign governments,” said Sergey Lavrov, adding that this draft provided “a whole series of restrictions” for enter Russia, but without specifying which countries would be sanctioned in particular.
Carlsberg announces its withdrawal from Russia, one of its main markets
The G7 countries have said demanding payment in rubles for Russian gas is “not acceptable” and shows that Russian President Vladimir Putin has his “back to the wall”, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said.
Russia announced the expulsion of three Slovak diplomats, in reaction to a similar decision taken in March by Slovakia with regard to three Russian diplomats.
The independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta has announced that it will suspend its online and print publications until the end of the military operation in Ukraine, at a time when the Russian authorities are stepping up their pressure against critical voices.
In a statement, the newspaper, whose editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021, said it had taken this step after receiving a second warning from the Russian telecoms policeman, in less than a week, for breaching a controversial “foreign agents” law. “There is no other way. For us, and I know for you, this is a terrible and painful decision. But we must protect each other,” wrote Mr. Muratov, in a letter to the readers of the newspaper.
Just over 40,000 refugees have fled Ukraine in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of people trying to escape the fighting sparked by the Russian army on February 24 to nearly 3.9 million, according to the count of the UN published on Monday. Since March 22, the flow of refugees has slowed markedly, although the figure is approaching the number of four million that the UNHCR projected at the start of the conflict.
The Kremlin on Monday denounced the “alarming” comments of US President Joe Biden who called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a “butcher”, in the midst of a Russian offensive in Ukraine.
“This statement is undoubtedly alarming,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, stressing that Moscow would continue to follow the US president’s remarks “very carefully”.
Russia and Ukraine have not made “significant progress” so far in their negotiations aimed at ending the conflict in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
“For the moment, we cannot see any significant progress or progress whatsoever,” Peskov told the press, while the Russian and Ukrainian delegations are expected in Istanbul on Monday for a new session of discussions.
kyiv announced on Monday that it would give up any corridor for the evacuation of civilians for fear of Russian “provocations”, before a new session of face-to-face talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in Turkey.
“Our intelligence has reported possible provocations by the occupiers on the routes of the humanitarian corridors. Therefore, for security reasons for civilians, no humanitarian corridors will be open today,” wrote the Deputy Prime Minister. Minister Iryna Vereshchuk on Telegram.
More than 2,000 civilians were killed in Mariupol, according to a recent report communicated by the town hall. According to the Ukrainian president, some 100,000 people are still stranded in this strategic port on the Sea of Azov.
In the city besieged and bombarded for weeks, “the population is fighting to survive. The humanitarian situation is catastrophic”, said the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on its Twitter account overnight from Sunday to Monday.
“The Russian armed forces are turning the city into dust,” he added, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denouncing for his part a total blockade of this city that the Russian army has been trying to take for weeks.