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Ukraine and Russia prepare for talks in Turkey as Russian missiles hit cities

Kyiv, Ukraine-Russia and Ukraine have prepared to negotiate a ceasefire to end the war in Turkey for more than a month as fierce fighting continues. After Russian troops launch missiles in several cities in Ukraine, Ukrainian troops are urging to recapture the northern territory of the capital Kyiv. One night.

Russian negotiators arrived in Istanbul late Monday, and a ceasefire negotiation was scheduled for Tuesday morning, so a Ukrainian delegation was scheduled to arrive in the middle of the night. His country said it could hold a referendum on neutrality, but only after the Russian occupying forces left Ukrainian territory was a peace agreement with Russia.

The Kremlin said the negotiations so far did not provide a breakthrough, and Western officials questioned whether Russia was ready to stop hostilities in Ukraine.

At the White House on Monday, President Biden made his comment suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin should not continue to retain power reflecting the moral anger he felt, which was in Ukraine. He said he did not hurt his attempt to end the war.

“I’m not coming back,” Biden said on Saturday, saying Putin: “For God, this man cannot maintain power.” A comment that he did not seek a change of power.

“I didn’t explicitly state policy changes at the time, and I’m still expressing my moral anger, and I don’t apologize,” Biden said on Monday.

Earlier this month, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and Ukrainian peace negotiators, who were involved in an attempt to end the war, suffered from alleged addiction after a meeting in Kyiv, people familiar with the matter said. rice field.

The Russian government had previously been accused of using poison to punish the enemy, but the Kremlin denied involvement in such an attack and did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Ukrainian troops continued to counterattack Russian positions around Kyiv on Monday. Ukrainian troops have regained Irpin, a strategically important town north of Kyiv. The United States could not independently confirm that Arpin was back in the hands of Ukraine.

According to Ukrainian officials, Russian missiles attacked the cities of Kyiv and Kharkov, Lutsk, Rivne and Zhytomyr, and Russian troops tried to keep pushing towards Kyiv from the east and northwest in an attempt to control the main roads.

After more than a month of war in Ukraine, President Biden and NATO’s allies have promised new sanctions, more weapons and humanitarian aid. But there are questions about what else can be done and how effective the Western Union is. Photo: Aris Messinis / AFP via Getty Images

The Ukrainian Ministry of Emergency Situations said a strike on Lutsk struck a fuel storage facility and authorities are still trying to extinguish the flames. Yuri Pofriaiko, head of the state’s junta, said the attack was carried out by cruise missiles launched from neighboring Belarus. There were no immediate details about the casualties.

Russian troops also appeared to have pushed further into Mariupol, a strategically important city connecting the Russian-dominated territories of the eastern Donbus region with the territories occupied by Moscow in the south.

In an interview with Russian journalists over the weekend, Mr Zelensky makes a formal statement that Ukraine abandons its purpose of joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in return for binding security from foreign partners. Said that it can.

Zelensky said the Ukrainian Constitution now aims to join NATO and the European Union, so it is necessary to ratify Ukraine’s neutrality in a referendum.

Zelensky said Russian troops had to withdraw from Ukrainian territory before the referendum took place because fair voting was not possible under foreign military occupation.

“If there are troops or illegal armed groups on the territory of the country, no one will be aware of the outcome of the referendum,” he told journalists.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with Russian journalists on Sunday.


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/ Associated Press

Zelensky said countries acting as guarantors of Ukraine’s security need to make legally binding promises ratified by Congress, in exchange for Ukraine’s security guarantee from Russia in the United States. Pointed out the 1994 Budapest Memorandum of Understanding, which abandoned nuclear weapons. And Britain noted that Russia invaded Ukraine anyway and the Western nations did not stop it.

He repeated that the Ukrainian government did not resign, did not accept the demilitarization of the country, and rejected Russia’s two war objectives.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office said on Sunday urged Mr Putin to call to accept a ceasefire with Ukraine.

However, Western officials see little sign that Russia is willing to see a peaceful resolution of the conflict. “No one thinks there is a potential diplomatic solution in the next few days or weeks,” said a senior European Union official.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that there was no significant progress in the negotiations and no progress on potential meetings between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents. ..

Kyiv officials said they were preparing for a new attack by Russian troops. “They are preparing for a large-scale promotion, which has always been the case prior to large-scale negotiations with Russia,” said a Ukrainian official close to the talks.

Officials said the chances of a successful ceasefire negotiation increased “from 10% two weeks ago to 50%” in recent weeks.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevrut Chabsogur said on the weekend that, as far as he knows, there was a diplomatic back channel between Putin and Zelensky.

“I don’t want to go into the details of this process. They seem to be negotiating a serious problem, a serious problem,” Kabsoguru said.

Both the Russian and Ukrainian sides were considering some options regarding the venue and format of the next round of negotiations, people close to the negotiations said, but agreed that Turkey was the best place. ..

Refugees from the fighting in Ukraine on a bus in Mykolaiv on Monday.


Photo:

Petros Giannakouris / AP Communication

Funeral for soldiers killed in action in Lviv, Ukraine on Monday.


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Nariman Elmofty / Associated Press

Prior to the meeting on Tuesday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Bereshchuk said the humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians would not open on Monday after Ukrainian intelligence reported a possible Russian attack. Zaporizhzhia.

Minutes before Zelensky’s interview was published by a Russian outlet, a national communications censor issued a statement banning it. The interview was still accessible on the Latvian-based news website Meduza.

“If there is such a reaction, it means we’re doing everything right. They’re nervous,” Zelensky said in a speech on the Telegram messaging app.

He said the ceasefire negotiations in Istanbul are important and Ukraine is still calling on the West to impose further sanctions on Russia, including blacklisting all Russian civil servants, law enforcement agencies and the military elite. Added.

Ukraine is trying to roll back Russia’s interests as Moscow shifts its focus to controlling swaths in the south and east of the country.

Ukrainian troops said on Sunday that they could expel Russian troops from Trostyanets in the northeast near the Russian border, paving the way for the state capital of Smy, surrounded by Russians.

The recapture of Trostyanets is after Moscow, which faced severe resistance from Ukrainians in its first multifaceted attack, said on Friday that it would refocus its campaign on the Donbus region, where Russian troops hold a strong position. It is done.

In the southeastern part of Ukraine, Ukrainian troops blocked Russia’s advance in positions east of Zaporizhia and north of Donetsk, according to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army.

In the south, Ukrainian troops are focused on the defense of Kryvyi Rih and Mykolaiv.

The house was abandoned on Sunday after Russia attacked Bachtanka, a village in southern Ukraine near Mykolaiv.


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Bülent Kurch / Agence France-Presse-Press / Getty Images

The Ukrainian flag flew on Sunday over the wreckage of an apartment damaged in a battle at Lukyanivka in the Kyiv region.


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/ Associated Press

According to an adviser to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, the Ukrainian air defense system has repelled attacks in the Kyiv region of Boryspil and Vasilkov. The Russian Defense Ministry said its troops shot down a Ukrainian jet near the city of Chernihiv, north of Kyiv.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov claimed on Monday that Russia continued to move forward in Donbus and that its troops dominated two villages.

Russian troops dug into defensive positions in and around northern Kyiv, but could not seize it. Russian firepower is currently concentrated in Mariupol.

Western officials believe that Russia is strengthening Donbus with fresh troops from the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary organization, with the aim of besieging Ukrainian troops.

It is not clear how well these new Russian troops are trained and whether they have access to high-grade weapons sufficient to quickly benefit against the combat-enhanced Ukrainian troops there. The new battalion tactical group comes from the eastern military district of Russia. Experts say it has the least combat training and is well equipped, but refocusing the attack on a narrower front solves some of the logistical problems that have plagued the Russian army. , Can claim dominant air power.

Western officials estimate that one-fifth of Russian troops are no longer combative and have low morale, but warn that war is far from victorious for Ukraine.

“What we are seeing is changing the course. What we are seeing is personal success,” said Putin, who is still “all-in.” Shown.

People evacuated to the basement of a school in Kharkiv, Ukraine on Sunday.


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aris messinis / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

Write to Thomas Grove (thomas.grove@wsj.com), Evan Gershkovich (evan.gershkovich@wsj.com), Brett Forrest (brett.forrest@wsj.com)

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