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Zelensky again calls for direct talks with Putin

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(Last Updated On: March 21, 2022)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday again called for direct talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, but stressed Russia’s negotiation requirements related to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty are unacceptable, according to a U.S. media outlet.

In an interview with CNN, Zelensky said he is ready for negotiations with Putin and believes that the Ukraine-Russia conflict will not end without negotiations, Reuters reported.

“I think that we have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating, possibility of talking to Putin. But if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third World War,” he told CNN.

The Ukrainian president, however, stressed that some of Moscow’s demands for ending the conflict including the recognition of the independence of Donetsk and Lugansk and of Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea are unacceptable.

According to Reuters in another related development, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Cavusoglu on Sunday that Russia and Ukraine were close to an agreement on key issues which could lead to a ceasefire soon, read the report.

Turkey is ready to host a meeting between Russian and Ukrainian leaders in its capital of Ankara, according to Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik on Sunday.

Ukraine’s presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak has said the Ukraine-Russia talks will restart on Monday morning local time, with all negotiating groups having been doing intensive preparatory work, Ukrainian Independent Information Agency of News reported on Sunday night.

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Ukraine celebrates recapturing key town, Putin ally raises nuclear jitters

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(Last Updated On: October 2, 2022)

Ukrainian troops said they had retaken the key bastion of Lyman in occupied eastern Ukraine, a stinging defeat that prompted a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin to call for the possible use of low-grade nuclear weapons.

The capture on Saturday came just a day after Putin proclaimed the annexation of nearly a fifth of Ukraine – including Donetsk, where Lyman is located – and placed the regions under Russia’s nuclear umbrella. Kyiv and the West condemned the ornate ceremony as an illegitimate farce, Reuters reported.

Ukrainian soldiers announced the capture in a video recorded outside the town council building in the centre of Lyman and posted on social media.

“Dear Ukrainians – today the armed forces of Ukraine … liberated and took control of the settlement of Lyman, Donetsk region,” one of the soldiers says. At the end of the video, a group of soldiers cheer and throw Russian flags down from the building’s roof and raise a Ukrainian flag in their place.

Hours earlier, Russia’s defence ministry had announced it was pulling troops out of the area “in connection with the creation of a threat of encirclement”.

Lyman had fallen in May to Russian forces, which had used it as a logistics and transport hub for its operations in the north of the Donetsk region. Its capture is Ukraine’s biggest battlefield gain since the lightning counteroffensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region last month.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy promised more quick successes in the Donbas, which covers the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are largely under Russian control.

“Over the past week, the number of Ukrainian flags in Donbas has increased. There will be even more a week’s time,” he said in an evening video address.

Ukraine’s armed forces said in a statement on Sunday morning that its jets had carried out 29 strikes in the past 24 hours, destroying weapons and anti-aircraft missile systems, while ground troops had hit command posts, warehouses containing ammunition and anti-aircraft missile complexes.

Russian forces launched four missiles and 16 air strikes and used Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones to attack infrastructure, Ukraine’s statement said, adding more than 30 settlements were damaged, chiefly in the south and southeast.

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G7 ministers threaten “economic costs on Russia” over Ukrainian annexation

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(Last Updated On: October 1, 2022)

The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) countries condemned Russia’s proclaimed annexation of four Ukrainian regions on Friday as a “new low point” in the war and vowed to take further action against Moscow, Reuters reported.

“We will never recognise these purported annexations, nor the sham ‘referenda’ conducted at gunpoint,” said a statement from the top diplomats of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

“We will impose further economic costs on Russia, and on individuals and entities – inside and outside of Russia – that provide political or economic support to these violations of international law,” it added.

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Attacks against NATO allies critical infrastructure to be met with determined response: NATO

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(Last Updated On: September 30, 2022)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that a deliberate attack against allies’ infrastructure would be met with a determined response, following what it called acts of “sabotage” on the Nord Stream pipelines, Reuters reported.

“All currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage,” NATO said in a statement.

“We, as Allies, have committed to prepare for, deter and defend against the coercive use of energy and other hybrid tactics by state and non-state actors. Any deliberate attack against Allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response,” it said.

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