From the news desk

Mayor says Mariupol on verge of crisis

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  • Russian and Ukrainian negotiators are set to resume in-person talks this week in Turkey.
  • Mariupol mayor says 160,000 civilians are trapped in the city without power.
  • Ukrainian president discloses his government is “carefully” considering a Russian demand of neutrality ahead of the talks.
  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy believes such a move would have to be guaranteed by third parties and put to a referendum.
  • US President Joe Biden says he was not calling for regime change in Russia during a speech in which he said President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power”.

Mariupol mayor fears humanitarian catastrophe

The southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe and must be completely evacuated, its mayor said.

“The Russian Federation is playing with us,” he said. Russia denies targeting civilians and blames Ukraine for the repeated failure to agree on safe corridors for trapped civilians. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

Heineken to exit its Russian operations

Dutch brewing giant Heineken said it has decided to exit its business in Russia, after previously saying it would halt new investments and exports there.

12th Russian defeat at Chornobaivka airport

For the twelfth time, Russian forces have been defeated in the southern town of Chornobaivka after trying to seize a strategic airport, a presidential aide said.

The Chornobaivka airport between the seized city of Kherson and the besieged city of Mykolaiv has become a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance and spawned dozens of memes ridiculing Russia’s blind determination to seize the town by all means necessary.

Russian general Yakov Rezantsev, who commanded the combined 49th army, was killed in Chornobaivka last week, the Ukrainian defence ministry said.

Arestovych said that after failing to advance on Kyiv and cities in central and southern Ukraine, the Russians are concentrating their efforts on the southeastern region of Donbass that has been partially controlled by pro-Moscow separatists since 2014.

“The Russian commanders signed off on their failure … in other directions,” he wrote.

“Then the war is moving towards a positional phase – where we have the upper hand,” Arestovych concluded.

Ukrainian official says he expects no major breakthrough at peace talks

A senior Ukrainian official said ahead of talks between Ukrainian and Russian representatives in Turkey that he did not expect any major breakthrough.

Russian shelling kills 1 in Luhansk: governor

Russian shelling killed one civilian and wounded one more in the town of Rubizhne in the southeastern Luhansk region that has been partially controlled by pro-Kremlin separatists since 2014, an official said.

The Russians and separatists have been advancing on Rubizhne and other towns in Lunansk since the invasion began on February 24.

Russians retreat from town that servces Chernobyl power plant – mayor

Russian forces have retreated from the northern town of Slavutych that serves the shutdown Chernobyl nuclear power plant, its mayor said.

The Russians entered the town that lies close to the border with pro-Moscow Belarus, on Saturday, but left on Sunday after massive protest rallies.

“They are not in town anymore,” Slavutych mayor Yuri Fomychev said in a video posted late Sunday.

Zelenskyy insists on territorial integrity as talks loom

Ukraine’s president has insisted on the territorial integrity of his country after earlier suggesting that he was ready for a compromise in peace talks with Russia.

In his video address to the Ukrainian people late on Sunday, Zelenskyy said there was a new round of negotiations coming up in Turkey and that his government’s priorities remained the same.

“Our goal is obvious: Peace and the restoration of normal life of our native state as soon as possible.”

But in comments to Russian journalists earlier in the day, Zelenskyy had said Ukraine was willing to assume neutral status and compromise over the status of eastern Donbas region as part of a peace deal.

Source: Al Jazeera

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