Liveblog: Ukraine-Russia talks tough but ‘only option’

Russia is facing global revulsion after its withdrawal from the outskirts of kyiv revealed streets littered with corpses of what appear to be civilians, many of whom were evidently killed at close range in the ongoing offensive, which in is now on its 41st day.

Ukrainian claims that Russian forces executed civilians in Bucha are false, a senior Russian Security Council official has said. (AP)

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Zelenskyy: Ukraine and Russia are negotiating “the only option”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said holding negotiations with Russia was the only option for his country, although the possibility of having talks was now a “challenge”.

But in comments broadcast on national television, he said it was possible he and Russian President Vladimir Putin would not personally hold talks.

Russia regroups its forces for the offensive in the Donbass

Ukraine reported that Russia was regrouping its troops and preparing for an offensive in the Donbass to establish full control over the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

In Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Russian army is focusing its efforts on taking control of the cities of Popasna and Rubizhne, as well as establishing full control over Mariupol, the Ukrainian General Staff said .

Other towns and localities in the two regions are under continuous bombardment. Russian troops also continue to blockade Kharkiv, according to the General Staff.

Putin ally says Bucha killings are fake propaganda

One of the Kremlin leader’s closest allies, Vladimir Putin, said claims that Russian forces executed civilians in Bucha were bogus products of Ukrainian and Western propaganda aimed at discrediting Russia.

“These are fakes that have matured in the cynical imagination of Ukrainian propaganda,” said Dmitry Medvedev, who served as president from 2008 to 2012 and is now deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council.

“They were concocted for large sums of money,” Medevedev said.

Tanya Nedashkivs'ka mourns the death of her husband, killed in Bucha, in the suburbs of kyiv.

Tanya Nedashkivs’ka mourns the death of her husband, killed in Bucha, in the suburbs of kyiv. (AP)

Britain says Ukrainian forces have recaptured the north

Ukrainian forces recaptured key northern terrain, forcing Russian forces to withdraw from areas around the city of Chernihiv and north of the capital kyiv, British military intelligence said.

Low-level fighting is expected to continue in some of the captured areas, but will decrease this week with the withdrawal of the rest of Russian forces, the defense ministry said.

German president admits mistakes with Russia

The German president has admitted policy mistakes towards Russia in his previous post as foreign minister.

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier twice served as foreign minister to ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel, most recently from 2013 to 2017, and before that as chief of staff to ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

At that time, Germany was pursuing dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin and cultivating close energy ties.

Ukraine: the situation in Mariupol much worse than in Bucha

Ukraine said what happened in the town of Bucha is just the “tip of the iceberg” and that the situation in Mariupol is much worse.

“Ukraine has won the battle for kyiv, but the war continues,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told a joint press conference in Warsaw with his British counterpart Liz Truss.

Noting that his country is preparing for another large-scale Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine, Kuleba said Russian forces will try to capture more territory in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and will also try to take control of the city of Mariupol.

The horrors we saw in Bucha are just the tip of the iceberg of all the crimes that have been committed so far by the Russian military on Ukrainian territory.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister

Ukrainian president forms delegation for talks with Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a decree on the official creation of a delegation for the talks with Russia.

According to a statement from the president’s office, the decree was signed “to form a delegation of Ukraine to participate in negotiations with the Russian Federation on the preparation and approval of a draft treaty on security guarantees for Ukraine”.

David Arakhamia, the leader of the ruling People’s Party parliamentary caucus, who also led the peace talks in Istanbul last week, has been named head of the delegation.

Russia urged not to use landmines

A senior figure in the global campaign against the use of landmines has urged Russia to end the use in Ukraine of these weapons which too often kill and maim civilians.

Alicia Arango Olmos, Colombia’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva and this year’s chair of states parties to the 1997 convention banning the production and use of landmines, expressed deep concern over media reports that Russia uses landmines in its attack on Ukraine. .

She pointed to Human Rights Watch, which said on March 29 that a Ukrainian explosive ordnance disposal technician had located prohibited antipersonnel mines in the eastern region of Kharkiv a day earlier.

Zelenskyy will address the UNSC

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the UN Security Council for the first time in a meeting on Tuesday that will likely focus on what appears to be deliberate killings allegedly committed by Russian forces in the town of Bucha, on the outskirts of the capital kyiv.

The discovery after the withdrawal of Russian troops sparked global outrage and vehement denials from the Russian government.

The UK holds the presidency of the Council this month and announced that the Ukrainian leader would speak at the public meeting.

“No place for Russia in the UN Human Rights Council”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he spoke with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about events in Bucha in what appear to be deliberate killings in the town on the outskirts of the capital kyiv.

“No place for Russia in the UN Human Rights Council,” Kuleba said on Twitter. “Ukraine will use all available UN mechanisms to gather evidence and hold Russian war criminals to account.”

Videos and photos of streets in Bucha littered with corpses of what appeared to be civilians, some with their hands tied behind their backs, sparked global revulsion, calls for tougher sanctions and Russia’s suspension from the first UN human rights body, the Human Rights Watch. Rights Council.

For live updates from Monday, April 4, click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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