Home WORLD EUROPA Volodymyr Zelensky asks to meet Vladimir Putin | War in Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky asks to meet Vladimir Putin | War in Ukraine

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He also warned that kyiv will abandon negotiations with Moscow if its soldiers, entrenched in the vast Azovstal metallurgical complex in Mariupol, a strategic Ukrainian port on the Sea of ​​Azov, are killed by the Russian army.

If our men are killed in Mariupol and if pseudo-referendums are organized in the Kherson region (south, editor’s note), then Ukraine will withdraw from any negotiation processadded Mr. Zelensky during a press conference organized in a metro station on the central square of kyiv.

US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken and US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin will visit kyiv on Sunday, two months to the day after the start of the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian president also announced.

Mr. Zelensky said to himself grateful towards the American administration, even if he would like even heavier and more powerful weapons to face the Russian army.

He also denounced the decision of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to meet Vladimir Putin next Tuesday, two days before a scheduled stop in Kyiv.

It’s just wrong to go first to Russia and then to Ukraine he said again. There’s no justice and no logic in this orderhe lamented.

Failed attempt to evacuate civilians from Mariupol

A new attempt to evacuate civilians from Mariupol (a city largely controlled by the Russian army) to the city of Zaporizhya – some 200 km to the northwest – has failed, a deputy mayor of the city said on Saturday. besieged on his Telegram account.

About 200 residents who had begun to gather to be evacuated were scattered by the Russian army, underlined Petro Andryushchenko. Some were then said to have been forced into buses heading for a locality occupied by the Russians, 80 km to the north. Once again the Russians disrupted an evacuationlamented the deputy mayor.

Today we are again trying to evacuate women, children and the elderlyUkrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said earlier on Facebook.

However, this had urged caution, because, she said, the Russian forces might want to create another evacuation corridor in parallel, towards Russia this time. Do not succumb to deception and provocationshe had launched.

The last successful evacuation to Zaporizhia dates back to Thursday when, after several days without a possible evacuation, three coaches of evacuees from Mariupol were able to reach their destination.

A damaged tank lies among the rubble on a street.

Civilians are still in Mariupol, although the city is destroyed in places and continues to be bombarded.

Photo: Reuters/Alexander Ermoshenko

Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of ​​Azov, is now largely controlled by the Russian army, but the Ukrainian army has not yet abdicated. Its last fighters, who belong in particular to the Azov battalion, are entrenched in the immense metallurgical complex of Azovstal.

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They have been asking for several days that the women and children, who would be hundreds with them, refugees in the undergrounds of this complex, can be evacuated. with guarantees of security.

A new video uploaded Saturday to YouTube by the Azov Battalion shows dozens of women and children warmly dressed in a makeshift dormitory in an Avozstal underground.

A woman explains in particular to the camera that she has been living in this underground since the beginning of March. Another, a baby in her arms, claims to have taken refuge there because her husband worked in the steelworks. Several children filmed say they wish they could go home.

The date of the video could not be immediately verified, but two women interviewed mention that today’s date is April 21.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych maintains on Telegram that the Russians have resumed air strikes on the complex Saturday. They attempt assault operationsbut our defenders, despite their difficult situation, carry out counter-operations, did he declare. However, this information could not be verified.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Russian forces would not attempt a final assault on Azovstal.

Our file War in Ukraine

Ukraine says it has taken over three localities near Kharkiv

Ukraine claims to have taken over Bezrouki, Slatine and Proudïanka, three localities near Kharkiv, in the east, on Saturday. The second largest city in the country, Kharkiv is regularly hit by Russian artillery.

Our Ukrainian armed forces succeeded in a counter-offensive launched yesterday morning. After long fierce battles, our units dislodged Russian troops from Bezruki, Slatin and Proudyankasaid on Telegram Oleg Synegoubov, governor of the Kharkiv region.

Proudïanka, the northernmost village, is only about fifteen kilometers from the Russian border.

Mr Synegoubov also said that two people had lost their lives and 19 others had been injured by Russian shelling in the Kharkiv region in the past 24 hours.

According to the spokesman of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Kharkiv remains partially blocked by the Russian forces, notably present in the northwest and which strengthen their positions south of the city.

According to the same source, the Russians continued their offensives in the districts of Izium and Barvinkove to take control of the railway network. In this border area between the regions of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk, the Russian army is trying to encircle the fortified positions of the Ukrainian army in the Donbass in order to take full control.

According to Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych, the Russians are carrying out offensive and reconnaissance operations to try to find weak points in the Ukrainian defense.

Not far from the border, the towns of the Luhansk region still controlled by the Ukrainians are shelled more and more intensely, said the governor of the region on Saturday morning.

On Saturday morning, the Russian army claimed to have carried out 1,098 strikes with artillery and rockets in 24 hours.

They literally bomb everything, wrote on his Telegram channel the governor of the Lugansk region, Serguiï Gaïdaï, calling on the population to evacuate. He also announced two dead and two wounded in Zolote.

Ukrainian forces left some locations they controlled, but only to regroup, regional governor Serhiy Haidai added.

Mortal strike in Odessa

A Russian airstrike killed six people and injured 18 others on Saturday in Odessa, in the south of the country, according to the chief of staff of the Ukrainian presidency. These are only the ones we managed to find [à ce stade-ci]. In all likelihood, the toll will be heavierAndriI Yermak said on Telegram, adding thata three month old baby part of the victims.

Russian forces fired a series of missiles from Tu-95 bombers over the Caspian Sea; two missiles hit a military installation, and two others, residential buildings in the port city, according to the Air Force. The air defense system destroyed two others heading towards the city.

The sole purpose of Russian missile strikes against Odessa is terroraccused the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba, on Twitter, calling for a wall between civilization and barbarians attacking peaceful cities with missiles.

Celebrate Passover online

The Ukrainian authorities are urging the faithful to avoid the usual large gatherings of the Orthodox Easter weekend and instead follow religious services online.

Friday evening, in view of Easter, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had called for a humanitarian break to evacuate civilians from Ukrainian cities invaded by the Russians, starting with Mariupol, besieged and shelled by the Russian army since the beginning of March. In response to this call, the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill reacted by inviting the faithful to pray for a lasting peacewithout mentioning the idea of ​​a truce for the Easter weekend of Orthodox Christians.

Earlier, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said it was ready to organize a procession pascale to the Azovstal plant, in Mariupol, for to provide emergency aid and to evacuate civilians as well as wounded soldiers. The Ukrainian Church falls under the Moscow Patriarchate, but it has distanced itself from Russian Patriarch Kirill, a known ally of Vladimir Putin.

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