The Ukrainian and Russian delegations meeting in Turkey on March 29 would have made their most significant progress to date. At the end of the meeting, the Russian government announced that it will reduce its military activity against kyiv and Chernihiv, in the north of the country. Minutes earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the parties to “stop this tragedy.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened the dialogue, the first face-to-face meeting between the two delegations in more than 15 days, at the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, urging both sides of the negotiators to “end this tragedy”.
The ceasefire to allow evacuations of civilians was the central goal of the meeting by kyiv, while Moscow said that the “main objective” now is the “liberation” of the Donbass region.
Meanwhile, clashes continue between the armies of the two countries. In the last hours, at least three people died after the bombing of a government building in the city of Mykolaiv, in the south of the country.
These are the main news one month and five days after the start of the war:
- 7:50 (BOG) Russia says it will “drastically” reduce military activity near kyiv and Chernihiv
Russia has decided to “drastically” reduce its military activity centered on kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, and Chernihiv, in the north of the country, according to its deputy defense minister in recent hours.
The announcement was made shortly after the latest round of talks between the negotiating teams of the two countries concluded in Istanbul on Tuesday.
At the end of the meeting, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, whose government served as mediator during the meeting, stated that his country welcomes the delegations from Moscow and kyiv to reach a compromise and a common understanding on certain issues, without specifying which.
Cavusoglu added that the two nations are now expected to discuss “more difficult issues” through their foreign ministers.
- 7:27 (BOG) Kremlin dismisses reports of poisoning against Abramovich
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed reports that Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who is involved in negotiations with Ukraine, suffered symptoms consistent with suspected poisoning.
The incident would have occurred during a round of talks on March 3 and allegedly some members of the Ukrainian delegation would also have shown signs of poisoning such as burning eyes and skin, according to ‘The Wall Street Journal’.
However, Peskov called the reports “part of the information warfare.”
The Russian oligarch was present at the March 29 meeting in Turkey, where the talks began with “a cold welcome and no handshake.”
- 07:05 (BOG) Macron will speak with Putin on Tuesday
The Elysée Palace reported that French President Emmanuel Macron will again hold a virtual meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to mediate an end to the war in Ukraine.
The new meeting is scheduled for this Tuesday, March 29, said Paris. Despite efforts, even before Moscow launched the full-scale attack on its neighbor, talks between Macron and Putin have so far failed to reach an agreement.
- 6:32 Ukraine offered Russia “status of neutrality”
After finishing the meeting in Turkey, it transpired that the Ukrainian delegation proposed to the Russian negotiators to adopt a “neutral status” in exchange for security guarantees.
The move means that kyiv would not join international military alliances such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or host foreign military bases, representatives of Volodymyr Zelensky’s government reported.
The Kremlin’s response is still unknown. On the eve of the meeting, the Ukrainian president indicated that his country is prepared to declare the adoption of that status as Moscow has demanded, and is open to a compromise on the fate of Donbass, the disputed region in the east of the country. However, kyiv tries to carry out an agreement that does not compromise the sovereignty and security of its territory.
- 6:17 (BOG) At least three people killed by shelling in Mykolaiv
At least three people were killed and 22 injured when a rocket hit the regional administration building in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv, the Ukrainian Emergency Service reported.
The same source said that 18 of the injured were pulled from the rubble by rescuers who continue to work on the site.
- 6:00 (BOG) Erdogan urges Moscow and kyiv to “stop this tragedy”
After opening the new dialogue table, the Turkish president and host of the meeting, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called on the two parties to the conflict for an “immediate” ceasefire to “stop this tragedy.”
In addition, Erdogan affirmed that “we have reached a moment in which the talks need to give concrete results” and was confident that the talks in his country will pave the way for a possible meeting between the presidents of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.
It is a request previously made by Zelensky, but the Kremlin has not confirmed it.
- 5:40 (BOG) Moscow: The main goal now is the liberation of Donbass
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu assured that the “main objective” of Moscow in Ukraine now is the “liberation” of the Donbass region, according to the state agency Interfax.
It would be a sign that Moscow may be shifting to more limited targets, after facing fierce Ukrainian resistance in the first month of the war.
However, Shoigu cited as reasons that the tasks outlined for the first stage of the operation have already been completed and the combat potential of the Ukrainian forces has been “significantly” reduced. According to Moscow, these actions allow its Army to focus on achieving the main objective: the liberation of Donbass, a separatist region in eastern Ukraine.
Shoigu added that kyiv’s air force and its air defense system have been “virtually destroyed” and Russia now controls the skies.
- 05:23 (BOG) Russian and Turkish delegations meet in Turkey
Security guarantees and the organization of a ceasefire to solve humanitarian problems are discussed in the talks in Turkey, said an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“Intensive consultations are taking place at the moment on some important issues, the most important of which is the agreement on international security guarantees for Ukraine, because with this agreement we will be able to end the war as Ukraine needs it,” he said. political adviser Mykhailo Podolyak on local television, while his country’s delegation negotiated at the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul.
“The second issue is a ceasefire to resolve all the humanitarian problems that have accumulated,” Podolyak added.
With Reuters, AP and local media
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