Ukraine, Russia resume talks as Moscow bombing campaign continues

KYIV, Ukraine – Diplomatic efforts to end Russia’s war in Ukraine have resumed after a weekend missile strike by Moscow near the Polish border brought fighting closer to Western Europe and set highlights the risk of a wider conflict.

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators met Monday by videoconference. US national security adviser Jake Sullivan was also meeting his Chinese counterpart in Rome after warning Beijing to resist what Washington described as Russian calls for Chinese help in the war.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said on Monday afternoon the talks had broken down and would resume on Tuesday.

“A technical break has been taken in the negotiations until tomorrow. For further work in sub-working groups and clarification of individual definitions,” Mr. Podolyak wrote on Twitter. “Negotiations are continuing.”

Before and after satellite images showed destruction in Mariupol, as Ukrainian authorities said shelling hit a skyscraper in Kyiv; award-winning American journalist Brent Renaud was killed; peace talks continue as Zelensky calls for a summit with Putin. Photo: Ukrainian State Emergency Service/AP

Mr Podolyak had said earlier that negotiators would focus on achieving a ceasefire, the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops and security guarantees for the country.

Almost three weeks of war, Russia seized territory in southern Ukraine but was fought to a standstill around the capital, Kyiv, and elsewhere. Increasingly, his forces are resorting to bombing residential areas and civilian infrastructure in an effort to wear down Ukrainian resistance.

On Monday, two people were killed and 12 others injured after a fire broke out in a nine-storey building in Kiev’s Obolon district, the Ukrainian army said. Ukraine’s state emergency service said the building was hit by enemy shelling.

US officials said on Sunday that Russia has asked China for military equipment and other assistance for its war effort. As well as warning Beijing against military assistance, Washington has said it will act if China tries to help Russia circumvent US sanctions.

A Kiev resident searched her belongings in a building hit by shelling on Monday.


Photo:

Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press

Elderly residents crossed a destroyed bridge on Sunday as they fled Irpin, near Kiev.


Photo:

Felipe Dana/Associated Press

“It’s a concern of ours, and we’ve made it clear to Beijing that we will not sit idly by and allow any country to compensate Russia for its losses from economic sanctions,” Sullivan told CNN. Sunday.

China has said it understands the security concerns cited by Russia to justify its invasion. He also abstained in a United Nations vote condemning Russian aggression last month. But Beijing has distanced itself from the conflict in other ways and has repeatedly called for an end to the fighting.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia had not asked for China’s help in Ukraine, adding that Russia’s special military operation, as it calls the war, “is going like planned and will be completed on time and in full”.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Monday dismissed reports of the Russian request, calling it “disinformation” and “malicious.”

“The top priority now is for all parties to exercise restraint to de-escalate and calm the situation instead of stoking tensions,” Zhao said during a regular briefing in Beijing.

Later Monday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was due to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. Mr Erdogan has maintained friendly relations with Ukraine and Russia, refusing to join Western sanctions against Moscow and keeping Turkish skies open to Russian air traffic. At the same time, he authorized the sale of arms to Ukraine.

On Sunday, Ukrainian soldiers took a makeshift path to cross a river next to a destroyed bridge near Irpin.


Photo:

aris messinis/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

A Ukrainian soldier was guarding a position in Mariupol, in the south-east of Ukraine, on Saturday, which came under heavy fire.


Photo:

Mstyslav Chernov/Associated Press

German officials said Mr Scholz would explore possible compromises between the two warring parties that could lead to a ceasefire agreement. The foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia met last week in Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in a first round of high-level talks, which did not yield any results.

While the various frontlines in Ukraine remained largely static over the weekend, a Russian airstrike hit a Ukrainian military training center near the Polish border on Sunday, killing 35 people at the facility a day after Moscow warned the West that it would consider arms deliveries. to Ukraine as legitimate targets.

The strike just 10 miles from Poland marked an escalation in Moscow’s offensive. Much of the West’s military aid – one of the largest arms transfers in history – passes through Poland into western Ukraine, part of the dividing line between the United States and its NATO allies enter military aid to Ukraine while avoiding providing troops or enforcing a no-fly zone that Ukraine has claimed.

Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine since Friday

Directorate of the Invading Forces

Controlled by or allied with Russia

Main crossing points for refugees

Chernobyl

Not in operation

Ukrainian territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Controlled by

separatists

Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine since Friday

Directorate of the Invading Forces

Controlled by or allied with Russia

Ukrainian territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Main crossing points for refugees

Chernobyl

Not in operation

Controlled by

separatists

Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine since Friday

Directorate of the Invading Forces

Controlled by or allied with Russia

Main crossing points for refugees

Ukrainian territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Chernobyl

Not in operation

Controlled by

separatists

Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine since Friday

Directorate of the Invading Forces

Controlled by or allied with Russia

Main crossing points for refugees

Ukrainian territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine since Friday

Directorate of the Invading Forces

Controlled by or allied with Russia

Main crossing points for refugees

Ukrainian territory, recognized by Putin as independent

The attack increases the risk of the war spilling over into NATO territory, which the United States says would be treated as an attack on the alliance. Any strike against Poland would require “the full force of the NATO alliance to respond to it,” Sullivan said in an interview Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

The armaments supplied to Ukraine by the United States and its European allies – in particular anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons – played an important role in controlling the advance of Russian ground troops, which suffered heavy losses in the north as they attempted to encircle Kiev.

The attacks in western Ukraine come as Russian offensives around Kyiv and the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv appear to be bogged down as troops from Moscow turn to targeting away from civil infrastructure and residential areas.

Crowds gathered at a train station in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Saturday.


Photo:

Justyna Mielnikiewicz/MAPS for the Wall Street Journal

A billboard in Lviv displays a quote from the Ukrainian national anthem.


Photo:

Justyna Mielnikiewicz/MAPS for the Wall Street Journal

To the south, Russia has advanced faster, helped by its earlier military presence in the Crimean peninsula which it annexed in 2014 and by more favorable terrain.

Russian government officials said on Monday that Crimea and Ukraine’s Donbass region controlled by pro-Russian separatists were connected by a land corridor, which if true would give Moscow greater control over a larger large part of mainland Ukraine.

The Russians pounded the city of Mariupol between the two regions, locking its defenders into a tighter combat zone.

The United States and its NATO allies have sent javelins, stingers and other weapons to Ukraine to help the country defend against Russian attacks. The WSJ’s Shelby Holliday explains how some of these weapons work and why experts say they’re useful to Ukrainian forces. Photo: Ukrainian Defense Ministry Press/AFP via Getty Images

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti quoted Georgy Muradov, Russia’s Permanent Representative to Crimea and Deputy Prime Minister of the Crimean Government, as saying that “Crimea and Donbass are now connected by a land corridor through the territory of Ukraine” and “the highway from Crimea to Mariupol was subdued.

In Kiev, the government denied that the Russians had secured such a corridor.

“In reality, Russian troops are far from creating the corridor,” said Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to the Ukrainian president. “For such a ‘corridor’ to work, Mariupol must fall.”

He said the Russians should also master civil resistance in areas theoretically conquered by Russian troops. “So far, nothing like this has been seen.”

Write to Alan Cullison at [email protected]

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