Kremlin: No pulling back until ‘all plans’ for Ukraine invasion are fulfilled
By Marc Santora, Shashank Bengali and Ivan Nechepurenko
Negotiators from Russia and Ukraine met again Monday for another round of talks aimed at finding a way out of the war, even as Russian forces broadened their devastating offensive and the Kremlin insisted that it would not pull back until “all plans” for the invasion are fulfilled.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a member of Ukraine’s delegation, said Monday afternoon that the talks had taken a “technical pause” and would resume Tuesday.
Before the talks, which were held virtually, Ukrainian officials hinted at progress, with one member of Kyiv’s delegation saying over the weekend that Russia was “much more sensitive to Ukraine’s position” and that “some concrete results” could be reached within days.
But several rounds of meetings have failed to make progress toward a cease-fire. And in recent days Russia has intensified its attacks, launching a flurry of strikes in Kyiv on Monday, a day after targeting a military base 11 miles from Poland, a country where NATO troops are deployed at the border. Western officials cautioned that the strike could represent a shift of tactics in a war that many were already worried could metastasize into a larger European conflict.
In a sign that Russia’s position was not softening, the Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, insisted Monday that the war effort was succeeding, and that “all plans set out by the Russian leadership will be realized in full, within the approved time frame.”
Here are some of the latest developments:
— Hundreds of people escaped the southern city of Mariupol, which has been encircled by Russian forces for more than a week, and where some 400,000 people are trapped without heat, food or clean water. A humanitarian convoy trying to bring supplies to Mariupol and evacuate large numbers of people failed to reach the city.
— President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address Congress in a virtual speech Wednesday, Democratic leaders said, a move that will likely increase growing pressure from Capitol Hill on President Joe Biden to send fighter jets to Kyiv.
— The Biden administration warned China that military or financial support to help Russia in its war against Ukraine would bring unspecified serious consequences. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, discussed the matter Monday with a top Chinese official, Yang Jiechi, at a meeting in Rome.
— Kyiv was hit by heavy artillery strikes Monday morning, after days of severe fighting in the suburbs. One projectile struck an apartment building, blowing out windows and causing a fire. At least two people died, according to local authorities.