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Russia-Ukraine live news: Erdogan opens talks in Turkey

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Nội dung bài viết
  • Ukrainian and Russian officials are holding face-to-face talks in Istanbul, Turkey, attended by
  • Kyiv says its top priority from the discussions is to secure an immediate ceasefire, but both sides have played down the prospect of any breakthrough.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Ukrainian forces have retaken control of Irpin, a key town located near the capital, Kyiv.
  • Ukraine says it will resume civilian evacuations via humanitarian corridors after a one-day pause over safety concerns.

INTERACTIVE Russia Ukraine War Who controls what Day 34

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UN says it has helped up to 900,000 people in Ukraine so far

UN aid agencies have managed to help up to 900,000 people in Ukraine so far, but they must be guaranteed safe passage by the warring parties to be able to do more, a spokesman for the world body has said.

Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told a news briefing the number of people provided with assistance so far was “good but … far from enough”.

Ukraine’s Kuleba warns negotiators not to ‘eat or drink’ at talks after poisoning reports

Ukraine’s foreign minister has advised members of the Ukrainian delegation “not to eat or drink anything, and preferably avoid touching any surface” during their negotiations with Russian officials in Istanbul.

Dmytro Kuleba’s comments, given during an interview with Ukrainian news channel Ukrayina 24, came after reports on Monday suggested sanctioned Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and Ukrainian peace negotiators had suffered symptoms of suspected poisoning earlier this month.

Abramovich, who is believed to be operating as a broker in the talks between Kyiv and Moscow, and at least two senior members of the Ukrainian team were reportedly affected.

But there is some scepticism over the incident. Shortly after the reports emerged, an unnamed US official was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying that intelligence suggested the trio’s symptoms were due to “environmental” factors, not poisoning.

Read more here.

Ukrainian TV says talks start with ‘cold welcome’

Talks between the delegations from Ukraine and Russia began without a handshake, Ukrainian television has reported.

“There was a cold welcome, no handshake,” a Ukrainian reporter said, without making clear whether he had witnessed the delegations meeting or had been told this by officials.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a political adviser to Zelenskyy, said on Twitter that the heads of each side’s delegation were discussing “the fundamental provisions of the negotiation process”.

“Delegations are working in parallel on the entire spectrum of contentious issues,” he added.

Round of heads of delegations. David Arakhamia and Vladimir Medinsky. On the fundamental provisions of the negotiation process. Delegations are working in parallel on the entire spectrum of contentious issues. cinemaboxhd.org/JsSZv7X9ZA

— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) March 29, 2022

Erdogan calls for ‘concrete results’ in talks, end to ‘tragedy’ of war

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told the Ukrainian and Russian delegations that they have a “historic responsibility” to stop the war.

“We believe that there will be no losers in a just peace. Prolonging the conflict is not in anyone’s interest,” Erdogan said as he greeted the officials, who were seated on opposite sides of a long table.

“It is in the hands of both sides to stop this tragedy,” he added.

Erdogan also told both sides they had “legitimate concerns” but said there was a need for “concrete results” from the discussions and called for an immediate ceasefire.

Ukraine resumes evacuations after Russian ‘provocations’

Ukraine says it is reopening humanitarian corridors and evacuating civilians from war-scarred regions after a one-day pause over what Kyiv called possible Russian “provocations”.

“Three humanitarian corridors were agreed for today,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a video statement posted on Telegram, a day after announcing their closure, citing intelligence reports.

Ukraine: Russia attacks in Donetsk, Luhansk repelled

Ukraine’s army says it successfully repelled seven Russian attacks in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, two regions partially controlled by pro-Moscow separatists.

Ukrainian forces destroyed 10 jets, three helicopters, four drones, 12 Russian tanks, 10 armoured vehicles and shot down two cruise missiles, the army said. It added that an unspecified number of Russian soldiers were also killed in the attacks.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify the figures provided.

Ukraine human rights commissioner: At least 144 children killed

Ukraine’s human rights commissioner Denisova Lyudmila says at least 144 children have been killed since the start of Russia’s invasion and 220 left wounded by indiscriminate shelling.

On Thursday, the UN’s children agency, UNICEF, said about half of Ukraine’s children – 4.3 million – have been uprooted by the conflict.

At least 1.8 million crossed into other countries, while 2.5 million have been internally displaced, the agency said.

More than 17,000 Russian ‘occupiers’ killed: Ukraine army

Ukraine’s army says 17,200 Russian “occupiers” have been killed in the country since the invasion began.

Russia has lost 597 tanks, 1,710 armoured vehicles, 127 jets, 129 helicopters and seven ships, the Ukrainian military said in a post shared on Facebook.

On Friday, Moscow said it lost 1,351 servicemen in the Ukraine war. Al Jazeera could not independently verify the figures provided.

Ukraine says 5,000 dead in besieged Mariupol

A senior Ukrainian official says at least 5,000 people have been buried in the besieged southern city of Mariupol since the invasion began, but that bodies have gone uncollected amid continuing Russian shelling.

Tetyana Lomakina, a presidential adviser now in charge of humanitarian corridors, says as many as 10,000 may have died – appearing to confirm the darkest scenarios of devastation in the city.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify the figures provided.

Russia warns Poland to stay out of the Ukraine war

Poland has become vital in the Western effort to defend Ukraine, and some of the fighting is getting close to its border.

Last week, Russian forces targeted the western Ukrainian city of Lviv – near the Polish border, just as the US president was visiting Poland. The situation has forced NATO to decide on how to respond to such incidents within the borders of its member states.

So, is there a risk of a conflict spillover?

Russia still poses a significant threat to Kyiv: UK military

Russia poses a significant threat to Kyiv through their attack capability even though Ukrainian forces continue localised counterattacks to the northwest of the city, according to British military intelligence.

Russian forces have maintained their offensive on Mariupol with continuous heavy shelling of the city, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement, although the city’s centre is still under Ukrainian control.

Elsewhere, Russian forces are maintaining blocking positions while attempting to reorganise and reset their forces, it added.

Russia-Ukraine talks will take place at Istanbul’s Dolmabahce Palace: Report

Ukraine’s state-run Ukrinform news agency says talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators will take place at Istanbul’s Dolmabahce Palace on Tuesday.

The discussions will begin at 10:30am (07:30 GMT), it said.

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Before they sit down, the negotiators are expected to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the agency added.

Russia no longer demanding Ukraine be ‘de-Nazified’: Report

The Financial Times says Russia is no longer saying Ukraine needs to be “denazified” and is prepared to let Kyiv join the EU if it remains militarily non-aligned as part of ceasefire negotiations.

Citing four people briefed on the talks, the FT said the draft ceasefire deal does not contain any discussion of three of Russia’s initial core demands – “denazification”, “demilitarisation” and legal protection for the Russian language in Ukraine.

Asia complying with Russia export controls: US

A senior US official says Washington has not seen any indications of non-compliance in Asia with export controls on Russia.

“We certainly haven’t seen any indication that there’s non-compliance, in fact, we’ve seen the reverse,” said Matthew Borman, a deputy assistant secretary at the commerce department. “I think there’s also a fair amount of additional self-sanctioning, if you will, by multinational companies operating in Russia,” he added.

Major players know there is a significant risk to their business if they don’t comply, Borman said.

“We know that Russia is quite dependent upon foreign supplies for some key inputs like semiconductors so I think it will be relatively readily apparent if there is non-compliance and the task will be to trace that back to its origin.”

France delivers fire and rescue trucks to Ukraine

France has delivered 27 fire and rescue trucks, as well as 50 tonnes of medical and emergency equipment to Ukraine.

French ambassador Etienne de Poncins posted pictures of the handover on Twitter, saying: “Efficiency and solidarity between France and Ukraine … Mission accomplished.”

Nous y sommes! @FranceenUkraine a remis officiellement aux autorités 🇺🇦 les 27 camions et les 50t de matériel. Moins de 3 semaines entre l’expression des besoins 🇺🇦 et cette remise. Efficacité et solidarité 🇫🇷🇺🇦Un immense merci à tous. Mission accomplie https://t.co/tVgki4YoFB cinemaboxhd.org/5eHm8Pxb0v

— Etienne de Poncins (@EdePoncins) March 28, 2022

Zelenskyy says Ukrainian forces in control of Irpin

Zelenskyy says Ukrainian forces have retaken the key Kyiv suburb of Irpin but cautioned that Russian forces still control areas north of the capital.

“The occupiers have been pushed away from Irpin and Kyiv. But it’s still too early to talk about safety in this part of our region. Fighting continues,” he said in his nightly video address.

“Russian troops hold the north of Kyiv region under control. They have resources and manpower. They are trying to rebuild destroyed units.”

Ukrainian journalist ‘taken captive’ by Russian forces

A Ukrainian journalist working for the UNIAN news agency has been taken captive by Russian forces, according to his colleague.

Dmytro Khyliuk went missing in early March and is being held in a town outside Kyiv, his colleague Natalia Boguta said in a Facebook post.

⚡️Ukrainian journalist goes missing, believed to be captured by Russians.

UNIAN news agency reporter Dmytro Khyliuk is believed to be held in captivity in Kyiv Oblast since early March, according to his friend, journalist Natalia Boguta. cinemaboxhd.org/SQnWKeQiV1

— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 28, 2022

Banksy artwork sold to raise funds for Kyiv children’s hospital

An anonymous donor has raised $106,505 for a children’s hospital in Kyiv by auctioning a piece of anti-war artwork by Banksy.

The Okhmatdyt Hospital is Ukraine’s biggest children’s hospital and treats critically ill patients, according to The Kyiv Independent, a Ukrainian news outlet.

⚡️Banksy art piece sale raises $106,000 for children’s hospital in Kyiv.

An anonymous donor sold an anti-war piece by U.K. street artist Banksy. The sum will go to Okhmatdyt, Ukraine’s biggest children’s hospital that treats critically ill patients.

— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 28, 2022

Russia won’t supply gas to Europe for free: Kremlin

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russia is yet to take a final decision on how to respond should European countries refuse to pay for Russian gas exports in roubles, but warned that Moscow would not supply fuel to the continent for free.

Peskov’s warning came after G7 nations rejected Russia’s demand that “unfriendly” countries pay for Russian oil and gas in roubles, not euros.

“We are not going to supply gas for free, this is clear,” Peskov said. “It is hardly possible and reasonable to engage in charity in our situation.”

Japan will ask firms not to pay in roubles for Russia transactions

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno says Japanese companies will be asked to refuse if Russia asks for rouble payments for economic transactions, especially in the energy sector.

Russia demanded last week that “unfriendly” countries must pay in roubles, not euros, for its gas in the wake of the US and European allies teaming up on a series of sanctions aimed at Moscow.

Japan to ban luxury goods exports to Russia

Japan’s trade ministry says it will ban the export of luxury goods to Russia effective on April 5 over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Banned items include luxury cars, motorcycles, liquors, cosmetics, fashion items and art pieces, the ministry said.

Macron and Putin to speak again on Tuesday

French President Emmanuel Macron is planning to once again speak with his Russian counterpart on Tuesday, the Russian TASS news agency reported.

Macron expects to discuss with Putin the details of a planned humanitarian operation aimed at evacuating civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol, TASS quoted a spokesman for the French leader as saying.

Amnesty accuses Russia of war crimes in Mariupol

Amnesty International is accusing Russia of committing war crimes in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.

“The siege of Mariupol, the denial of humanitarian evacuation and humanitarian escape for the population, and the targeting of civilians, according to Amnesty International’s investigation, amounts to war crimes,” said the group’s Secretary-General Agnes Callamard.

“The crisis in Ukraine right now, the invasion … is not just any kind of violation of international law,” she said. “It is an aggression. It is a violation of the UN charter of the kind that we saw when the US invaded Iraq.”

Prospects for a ceasefire in Ukraine remain slim: Analyst

William Courtney, a former US ambassador to Georgia, says he sees no sign of Russian willingness to negotiate a ceasefire in Ukraine.

“Russia is worried that there’s not a perception of sufficient Russian bargaining strength. The international media are portraying Ukraine as holding off Russian forces. Some say Russia has begun to lose the war,” he told Al Jazeera.

“So Russia seems to now want to concentrate its forces in eastern Ukraine, where it has greater relative advantage and probably to try to get a victory somewhere to strengthen its hand in the negotiations. We’ve seen no sign on the battlefield that Russia is beginning to pull out troops, which might signify that it is willing to negotiate an agreement.

“For example, on this issue, Russia is still trying to pursue victory in all of Ukraine. It hasn’t given up on seizing Kyiv, and that had been its main aim up to now.”

Pentagon may need more funding to help Ukraine

The Pentagon says it may have to ask the US Congress for additional money to support Ukraine’s battle, including replenishing the arsenal of weapons sent to Kyiv.

Rolling out the defence department’s $773bn request for the fiscal year 2023, the Pentagon said the budget was finalised before the invasion so it has no specific money for the war. Congress approved a $13.5bn emergency funding package in early March.

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The Pentagon officials who presented the request said it was too early to predict how quickly Ukrainian forces will use the weapons and ammunition already provided, and how much the US will need to replace that.

Fire at Lutsk oil depot extinguished

Ukrainian firefighters have brought a blaze at an oil depot – hit by a Russian rocket attack late on Sunday – in the far northwestern region of Volyn under control.

The attack set multiple storage tanks on fire and a video released by Ukraine’s emergency services showed firefighters battling the devastating inferno.

Продовжується гасіння пожежі, що сталася на одному з промислових підприємств для зберігання пального у Луцьку внаслідок обстрілу 27 березня.

Сьогодні о 08:12 її вдалося локалізувати, наразі триває ліквідація. cinemaboxhd.org/87lvi0Lcgi

— cinemaboxhd.org (@SESU_UA) March 28, 2022

The mayor of Lutsk, the capital of Volyn which is 120km (75 miles) north of Lviv, on Monday said the oil stored at the depot had burned out and the site’s structures had been seriously damaged.

Zelenskyy urges Russian oil embargo without delay

Ukraine’s president has urged Western nations to toughen sanctions against Russia, including imposing an embargo on Russian oil.

“Now there are many hints and warnings that supposedly tougher sanctions, such as an embargo on Russian oil supplies to Europe, will be put in place if Russia uses chemical weapons,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.

“Doesn’t everything the Russian military has done to date warrant an oil embargo? Don’t phosphorus bombs warrant it? A shelled chemical production facility or a shelled nuclear power plant doesn’t warrant it?

In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine,
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine, on Monday night, March 28, 2022 [Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP]

“If the sanctions packages are weak or do not work strongly enough, if they can be circumvented, it creates a dangerous illusion for the Russian leadership, as if they will be permitted to continue doing what they are doing now,” he said.

US deploys aircraft specialising in electronic warfare to Europe

The Pentagon has said it is deploying six Navy aircraft that specialise in electronic warfare and about 240 Navy personnel to bolster NATO defences in Eastern Europe.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby says the EA-18G Growler aircraft, based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington state, will arrive on Monday at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, where they will be stationed. They are not intended for use in Ukraine, he said.

“The purpose of this deployment is to bolster readiness, enhance NATO’s collective defense posture and further increase air integration capabilities with our allied and partner nations,” Kirby said in a statement.

Russia repeats that nuclear weapons are only for existential threats

Kremlin spokesperson Peskov has told US broadcaster PBS in an interview that Russia would only resort to nuclear weapons in the case of a “threat to the existence” of the country.

“But any outcome of the operation (in Ukraine), of course, is not a reason for usage of a nuclear weapon,” said Peskov, echoing comments he made to CNN last week.

“We have a security concept that very clearly states that only when there is a threat for existence of the state, in our country, we can use and we will actually use nuclear weapons to eliminate the threat for the existence of our country.”

Seven EU countries warn citizens against joining Ukraine conflict

Seven European Union countries are telling their citizens to stay away from the fight against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The appeal was issued by the justice ministers of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg and Belgium.

The ministers “have unanimously discouraged Europeans from joining” the ranks of voluntary combatants heading to the war in Ukraine, they said in a statement published after their meeting in Brussels.

Ukraine delegation lands in Turkey for Russia talks

A Ukrainian delegation has landed in Istanbul ahead of talks with Russian negotiators aimed at ending the war, Turkey’s private IHA news agency has reported.

The talks between the two sides are scheduled to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday.

UK intelligence: Russia’s Wagner Group deploying to eastern Ukraine

Russian private military company, the Wagner Group, is deploying fighters to eastern Ukraine, British military intelligence has said.

“They are expected to deploy more than 1,000 mercenaries, including senior leaders of the organisation, to undertake combat operations,” Britain’s Ministry of Defence said.

Last week, the Pentagon warned that the Wagner Group is looking towards “increasing their footprint in Ukraine”.

Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 28 March 2022

Find out more about the UK government’s response: https://t.co/LGcaASzEkJ

🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 cinemaboxhd.org/qWJcREPqRN

— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) March 28, 2022

US budget to allocate funds to ‘forcefully respond’ to Putin

Biden says his proposed annual budget, which includes a rise in military spending, allocates funds to address the crisis in Ukraine. It allocates $813.3bn in defence spending, up from $777.7bn last year.

“This budget provides the resources we need to [ensure] our military remains the best prepared, best trained, best-equipped … in the world,” Biden said.

“This budget also provides additional funding to forcefully respond to Putin’s aggression against Ukraine and its economic, humanitarian and security consequences.”

Biden does not rule out meeting with Putin

Despite the escalating war of words between the Kremlin and the White House, Biden has not ruled out direct talks with Putin.

Asked on Monday whether he would be willing to meet with his Russian counterpart, Biden said: “It depends on what he wants to talk about.”

Joe Biden
Biden said on March 26 that Putin ‘cannot remain in power’ [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

Ukraine aiming to secure ceasefire at Russia talks: Foreign minister

Kuleba has said Ukraine’s most ambitious goal at talks with Russia in Turkey this week will be to agree on a ceasefire.

“The minimum programme will be humanitarian questions, and the maximum programme is reaching an agreement on a ceasefire,” he said on national television when asked about the scope of the latest round of peace negotiations expected on Tuesday.

What would a ‘rupture’ in US-Russia relations mean?

The war in Ukraine is pushing US-Russia ties to the brink, with the Kremlin warning that bilateral relations are nearing “rupture” after Biden accused Putin of being a “war criminal”.

Should relations completely break down, analysts say the ramifications could ripple well beyond any potential ceasefire or peace negotiations to other areas of US-Russian diplomacy, including most notably the Iran nuclear talks.

“Russia could try to block an understanding that brings the US and Iran back into compliance,” said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

Read more here.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Read all the updates from Monday, March 28 here.

Learn More: From Ukraine with love: Newlyweds defy Russian bombs in Kharkiv

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