Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Talks to resume amid fierce attacks


Kyiv: Russia and Ukraine kept a fragile diplomatic path open with a new round of talks even as Moscow’s forces pounded away at Kyiv and other cities across the country in a punishing bombardment the Red Cross said has created nothing short of a nightmare for civilians.

Meanwhile, a convoy of 160 civilian cars left the encircled port city of Mariupol along a designated humanitarian route, the city council reported on Monday.

The latest negotiations, held via video conference on Monday, were the fourth round involving higher-level officials from the two countries and the first in a week. The talks ended without a breakthrough after several hours, with an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying the negotiators took a technical pause and planned to meet again Tuesday.

According to a senior US defence official, Russian troops were still about 15 kilometres from the centre of Kyiv.

The official said Russian forces have launched more than 900 missiles but that Ukraine’s airspace is still contested.

Overnight, air raid alerts sounded in cities and towns around the country, from near the Russian border in the east to the Carpathian Mountains in the west, and fighting continued on the outskirts of Kyiv. Ukrainian officials said Russian forces shelled several suburbs of the capital.

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