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Russia-Ukraine War: 'Conflict in No One's Interests', Xi Tells Biden; Putin Accuses Kyiv of Stalling Peace Process

Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz Ukrainian authorities are stalling talks but added that Moscow was ready to search for solutions | March 18, 2022, 23:49 IST
A view shows cars and a building of a hospital destroyed by an aviation strike amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Mariupol, Ukraine (Image: Reuters)

Chinese leader Xi Jinping said war is “in no one’s interest” during a phone call Friday with Joe Biden in which US aimed to pressure his counterpart to join Western pressure on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz Ukrainian authorities are stalling talks, but added that Moscow was ready to search for solutions. “It was noted that the Kyiv regime is trying in Read More

Mar 18, 2022 22:58 IST

Macron Tells Putin of 'Extreme Concern' Over Mariupol

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed Friday his “extreme concern” over the fate of Ukraine’s Mariupol in over an hour of talks with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, urging “a lifting of the siege and humanitarian access” to the city. Macron “again demanded the immediate respect of a cease-fire” in Ukraine, Macron’s office said.

Mar 18, 2022 22:39 IST

Putin Accuses Ukraine of 'War Crimes' in Macron Call: Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of ‘war crimes’ in call with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron call, Kremlin said in a statement, reports AFP news agency.

Mar 18, 2022 22:28 IST

One Badly Wounded, No Dead in Mariupol Theatre Strike: Officals

Mariupol city authorities said a Russian strike on a theatre sheltering civilians in Ukraine’s besieged city badly wounded one person but did not kill anyone. “According to initial information, there are no dead. But there is information about one person gravely wounded,” the city council said on Telegram in the first casualty tally since the strike on Wednesday.

Mar 18, 2022 21:57 IST

Russia Using UN to Spread Propaganda: Western States

Russia is using the UN Security Council to spread disinformation and propaganda about its invasion of Ukraine, six Western members states said amid Russian allegation of Ukraine developing biological weapons. “Russia is once again attempting to use this council to launder its disinformation, spread its propaganda, and justify its unprovoked and brutal attack on Ukraine,” the six countries with seats on the council said in a statement read out by US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

Mar 18, 2022 21:51 IST

Three-man Russian Space Crew Blasts Off for The ISS

Three Russian cosmonauts blasted off to the International Space Station, as Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine brought the Kremlin’s relations with the West to their lowest point since the Soviet era.

Mar 18, 2022 21:35 IST

Nothing Suggests Putin's Intent Has Altered Over Russian Invasion: Western Official

There is no evidence to suggest that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s overall intent in Ukraine has altered despite the invasion failing to reach its original objectives, a Western official said, reports Reuters.”I’ve seen nothing which suggests that the original intent of Putin has significantly altered,” the official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Mar 18, 2022 21:18 IST

EU Denies 'Double Standard' Over Response to Ukrainian Refugee Crisis

The EU said Friday it was not applying a double standard towards refugees from Ukraine compared to Syria, as it grapples with the biggest migration crisis in Europe since World War II. The bloc has come under fire for allegedly welcoming refugees from Ukraine more openly, compared to their non-white counterparts fleeing conflict in the Middle East. READ MORE

Mar 18, 2022 21:02 IST

Ukraine Military Working on Third Defence Line Around Kyiv: Media

Ukrainian military strengthened their defenses around captital Kyiv, reports Ukrainian media The Kyiv Independent. According to Oleksandr Gruzevich, deputy chief of staff of Ukraine’s Ground Forces, the military is working on the third defense line around Kyiv, it said. “The city is preparing like a fortress,” he added.

Mar 18, 2022 20:47 IST

Xi-Biden Talks Conclude With Call on Russia's Invasion of Ukraine to End

US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping concluded a video phone call in which Biden aimed to persuade his counterpart to join Western pressure on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, the White House said.

Mar 18, 2022 20:46 IST

Tirade of Bizarre Conspiracy Theories: US on Russia's Bioweapons Allegations at UNSC

US representative at UNSC slammed Russia’s allegations of alleged biological weapon labs in Ukraine. “Last week, we heard from the Russian representative a tirade of bizarre conspiracy theories. This week, we are hearing a whole lot more of things that sound like they were forwarded to him on a chained email from some dark corner of the internet.”

Mar 18, 2022 20:42 IST

Biological Weapons Created on Ukrainian Territory, Have Data Proving It: Russian Envoy to UNSC

Russian representative at UNSC meeting on Ukraine situation said, “Components of biological weapons were created on the Ukrainian territory… our Ministry of Defence is receiving more material about the unlawful activities carried out by the Pentagon on Ukrainian territory.”

Mar 18, 2022 20:40 IST

Ex-Russian Deputy Prime Minister Steps Down from Top Post After Condemning Ukraine War

Former Kremlin aide and ex-deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich on Friday stepped down as chair of the Skolkovo Foundation after becoming a rare official voice of dissent against Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine. Established in 2010, the Skolkovo Foundation has aimed to diversify the country’s economy from oil and gas, foster start-ups and build a Russian version of Silicon Valley outside Moscow. READ MORE

Mar 18, 2022 20:38 IST

EU Naturalised Over 18,000 Ukrainians in 2020: Eurostat

Some 18,100 Ukrainians were granted citizenship of European Union countries in 2020, largely by Poland and Germany, as the bloc naturalised 3% more people overall than in the previous year, the EU statistics office said. The EU’s 27 member states naturalised just over 729,000 foreign nationals in that year, the Eurostat data showed, with Spain and the Netherlands leading the way.

Mar 18, 2022 20:32 IST

UN Warns of 'Extremely Dire' Situation in East Ukraine

The UN warned that humanitarian needs are becoming ever more urgent across war-ravaged eastern Ukraine, with a potentially fatal lack of food, water and medicines in besieged cities. “The humanitarian situation in cities such as Mariupol and Sumy is extremely dire,” Matthew Saltmarsh, spokesman for the UN refugee agency, told reporters via video link from Poland.

Mar 18, 2022 20:09 IST

Russian TV Cuts Putin Mid-speech

Russian state television cut President Vladimir Putin’s speech mid-sentence as he was addressing tens of thousands of supporters at Moscow’s main football stadium. As the Russian leader was addressing crowds, state television switched to showing a clip of patriotic music from earlier in the event. Putin was cut mid-sentence as he was saying: “It so happened that the beginning of the operation coincided by chance with the birthday of one of our outstanding military…”

Mar 18, 2022 20:08 IST

Xi Says China-US Should 'Shoulder International Responsibilities' for Peace

Chinese President Xi Jinping says China-US should ‘shoulder international responsibilities’ for peace, according to Chinese state TV.

Mar 18, 2022 19:50 IST

Conflict in 'no-one's Interest: Xi Jinping tells Joe Biden During Ukraine Talks

China’s President Xi Jinping said conflicts between states are “in no-one’s interest” during a video call with his US counterpart Joe Biden, Chinese state TV reported. “State-to-state relations cannot go to the stage of military hostilities,” state broadcaster CCTV reported Xi as saying. “Peace and security are the most valued treasures of the international community.”

Mar 18, 2022 19:32 IST

Zelensky Says He Expects Progress on EU Membership Bid Within Months

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he spoke with the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Ukraine expects progress to be made on its application to join the European Union in the coming months.

Mar 18, 2022 19:26 IST

Rescue Work Ongoing at Bombed Theatre in Mariupol: Ukraine President Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said rescue work was ongoing at the site of a bombed theatre in Mariupol city from where 130 people have so far been recovered alive. In an online address, Zelenskiy said shelling by Russian forces continued to prevent the authorities from establishing effective humanitarian corridors to the encircled port city in southern Ukraine.

Mar 18, 2022 19:20 IST

Main Goal of Russian Op in Ukraine is to Set Donbass Free From Genocide: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the main goal of its military operation in Ukraine is to set Donbass free from genocide, according to Russian state media agency Sputnik.

every possible way to stall negotiations, putting forward more and more unrealistic proposals,” the Kremlin said after the phone call.

Russian forces on Friday struck an area around Lviv’s airport in western Ukraine, Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said, as grey smoke streamed across the sky and ambulances and police vehicles raced to the scene. Writing on messaging app Telegram, Sadovyi said he could not give a precise address of the targeted area “but it’s definitely not an airport.” A thick pall of grey smoke streamed across clear blue sky over Lviv’s airport in western Ukraine at 7:30 am Friday, an AFP reporter saw.

An explosion was heard and smoke was seen in the northern part of Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Friday morning, a Reuters witness said.

As Russian troops appeared to stall in their advance on Ukrainian cities, the United States voiced concern on Thursday that China might assist Moscow with military equipment as the war entered its fourth week. Ukraine’s capital Kyiv came under renewed Russian shelling as rescuers in the besieged port of Mariupol dug survivors from the rubble of bombed buildings. Officials from the two countries met again for peace talks but said their positions remained far apart.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said he agreed with President Joe Biden that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine and U.S. experts were gathering evidence to prove it.

Biden told reporters a day earlier that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin was a “war criminal” but the White House later said no formal determination had been made on potential violations of international law since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

“Personally, I agree,” Blinken said in a news conference at the State Department. “Intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime,” Blinken said, adding that he finds it “difficult to conclude that the Russians are doing otherwise” after the destruction over the past few weeks.

President Joe Biden will make clear to China’s President Xi Jiping in a call Friday that Beijing “will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to support Russia’s aggression, and we will not hesitate to impose costs,” Blinken told reporters.

More than 700 civilians – including 52 children – have been killed in Ukraine since Russia invaded three weeks ago, but the “actual number is likely much higher,” U.N. political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council on Thursday.

“Most of these casualties were caused by the use in populated areas of explosive weapons with a wide impact area. Hundreds of residential buildings have been damaged or destroyed, as have hospitals and schools,” DiCarlo said.

She told the 15-member council that the U.N. human rights agency has recorded 726 deaths, including 52 children, and 1,174 people injured, including 63 children, between Feb. 24 and March 15. DiCarlo did not specify who was to blame.

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