Russia-Ukraine crisis: 10 latest developments
US, UK and European officials say Russian President Vladimir Putin is being misled by his advisers on Russia’s poor military performance in Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces are preparing for new Russian attacks in the east of the country as Moscow deploys more troops there after suffering setbacks near the capital Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, US, UK and European officials say Russian President Vladimir Putin is being misled by his advisers on Russia’s poor military performance in Ukraine.
Let us take a look at the latest developments on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the worst humanitarian crisis across the war-hit country.
· Russia’s invasion of its neighbour, now in its fifth week, has driven more than 3.5 million people from their homes, killed thousands, sent global oil prices soaring and brought Russian-Western tensions to their worst point since the Cold War.
· Tough resistance by Ukrainian forces has prevented Russia from capturing any major city, including the capital Kyiv, which it assaulted with armoured columns from the northwest and east. Moscow says it is now focusing on “liberating” the Donbas region - two southeastern provinces partly controlled by separatists Russia has backed since 2014.
· Moscow would not refuse a meeting between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba but any talks between them would need to be substantive, RIA news agency cited the Russian foreign ministry as saying on Thursday.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said earlier on Thursday that Turkey was working to bring together the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers for further talks after hosting peace negotiations in Istanbul this week.
· Turkey is working to bring together the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers for talks after hosting negotiations in Istanbul this week, the country’s foreign minister has said, adding the meeting could happen within two weeks.
Negotiators from Ukraine and Russia held the first face-to-face meeting in more than two weeks in Istanbul on Tuesday, during which Ukraine presented written proposals to stop the Russian invasion.
· Kyiv is sending 45 buses on Thursday to evacuate civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol, where the Russian defence ministry has announced a local ceasefire, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.
· The United States is considering a massive release of oil reserves to counter rising oil prices which are fuelling inflationary fears around the world. The International Energy Agency (IAE) will hold an emergency meeting on Friday. Tough resistance by Ukrainian forces has prevented Russia from capturing any major city, including Kyiv, where a Russian armed column was held back for weeks.
· The head of Britain’s GCHQ spy service said new intelligence showed some Russian soldiers had refused to carry out orders, sabotaged their own equipment and accidentally shot down one of their own aircraft. In an early morning video address, Zelenskyy referred to Russian troop movements away from Kyiv and Chernihiv and said that was not a withdrawal but rather “the consequence of our defenders’ work.”
· Ukraine accused Russia on Wednesday of planting mines in the Black Sea and said some of those munitions had to be defused off Turkey and Romania as risks to vital merchant shipping in the region grow.
· The Black Sea is a major shipping route for grain, oil and oil products. Its waters are shared by Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia and Turkey as well as Ukraine and Russia.
· A member of Britain's ruling Conservative Party government says the foreign secretary will push India’s government to take a stronger line against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. India is a defence partner of Russia and has refrained from criticising Moscow's attack. International Trade Secretary in the Johnson Government, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said it’s important a united message is sent to the Russian leadership.