Saturday, April 1

Mariupol citizens trapped; new round of talks

A fourth round of talks aimed at ending or curtailing the devastating bombardment of Ukraine began Monday with the Russian side claiming significant progress and the bloodied but unbowed Ukrainians demanding a cease-fire, immediate withdrawal of all Russian troops and security guarantees.

Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, called the talks a “difficult conversation” and said Ukraine’s demands remain unchanged despite a growing humanitarian crisis in some cities that has left hundreds of thousands of civilians struggling to obtain basic necessities such as food, water and medical supplies.

“Although Russia realizes the nonsense of its aggressive actions, it still has a delusion that 19 days of violence against peaceful cities is the right strategy,” Podolyak said on Twitter.

Russian delegate Leonid Slutsky said the talks could “develop in the very next few days into a unified position of both delegations, into documents for signing,” Russia’s RIA news agency reported.

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