May 24, 2022

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Ukraine-Russia peace talks: Zelensky says next 24 hours are ‘crucial’

Ukraine-Russia peace talks: Zelensky says next 24 hours are 'crucial'

Ukrainian and Russian officials arrived in The border between Ukraine and Belarus for peace talks that began at 6 a.m. ET on Monday, with President Volodymyr Zelensky warning on the fifth day of the invasion that the next 24 hours will be “decisive” for Ukraine’s fate.

Last: The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said dozens of civilians were killed and hundreds wounded by missile strikes In Kharkiv, the city on the border with Russia that was subjected to the heaviest bombardment of the war. Ukrainian forces have so far been in control of the city of 1.5 million, the second largest in the country.

The Big Picture: Zelensky’s office called for an “immediate cease-fire and withdrawal of forces from Ukraine” while several high-ranking Ukrainian officials went to the talks, but expressed little optimism that negotiations would lead to an end to the offensive.

What else happens: In his last speech, Zelensky called for Ukraine’s immediate accession to the European Union – a day later European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Ukraine is “one of us and we want them in it,” he said.

  • Zelensky said 16 Ukrainian children were killed and 45 wounded during the war, while Russia suffered 4,500 casualties. International monitors have not verified these numbers.
  • Zelensky said he would allow the release of prisoners with combat experience to help defend the country and “compensate for their guilt.”
  • Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Ukraine also claimed to have received “thousands” of requests from foreign volunteers to join a new “international legion” to fight Russia.
See also  Chinese president calls for "maximum restraint" in Ukraine

what are they saying: When I planned to become president, I said that each of us is the boss. Because we are all responsible for our state. To the beautiful Ukraine. “And now it so happened that each of us is a warrior,” Zelensky said in his speech.

  • “I am confident that each of us will win.”
A room where peace talks will take place. Photo: Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

playing condition: Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov will lead his delegation to the peace talks in the Gomel region

  • While Russian forces continued their bombardment of Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities overnight, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense reported Intelligence indicated that the attack had “slowed down”.
  • A senior US defense official said Russia fired more than 350 missiles at Ukrainian targets, some of which hit civilian infrastructure to Reuters.
  • More than 500,000 refugees They fled to neighboring countries – including Poland, Hungary, Romania and Moldova – the The United Nations said.
  • The war – which appeared quieter last night than it has been on previous nights – could escalate dramatically if Russia gets military help from neighboring Belarus, which is expected to send troops to Ukraine on Monday, according to a senior US intelligence official. He told The Associated Press.

Zoom out: Russia’s currency It collapsed into overnight tradingWith the ruble falling against the dollar, The West imposed unprecedented crippling sanctions And huge companies said they would end their business in Russia.

  • Russians The central bank raised interest rates from 9.5% to 20% and announced a raft of measures – including the suspension of shares trading on the Moscow Stock Exchange – in a desperate attempt to stem the bleeding.
  • Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with close ties to Vladimir Putin, said on Telegram He wants “clear clarifications and comments on economic policy for the next three months” – calling it “the first test of who will actually be in charge of this banquet”.

deepen: Get the latest with Ukraine and Russia dashboard