“Last night was tough”: Kremlin and Ukrainian president say they are ready for talks, Russians say they are encircling two major cities (live)

This Sunday marks the fourth day of clashes between Ukrainian forces and Russian forces to control the capital, three days after Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

8:54 am: Ukrainian president says he is ready for talks with Moscow, but not in Belarus

The President of Ukraine on Sunday rejected Russia’s proposal to hold talks in Belarus, saying that the country, which serves as the backbone for the occupation of Ukraine, would be “better than any other city.”

“Warsaw, Bratislava, Budapest, Istanbul, Baku. We provided everything. No other city applies to us,” he said in an online video.

He pointed out that the night in Ukraine was “hard” and that the Russian bombings targeted populated areas. “Last night was hard, re-firing, re-bombing of populated areas, civilian infrastructure. There is nothing today where the occupier does not consider a formal target,” he says in a video posted on social media.

8:41 am: Street fighting breaks out in Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city

An AFP reporter noted that street fighting was raging on Sunday between Ukrainian forces and the Russian military in Kharkiv (northeast), Ukraine’s second city, where authorities announced a “turning point” of troops from Moscow.

Fighting has been going on since morning with abandoned or burning light shields visible on the streets, while sporadic shootings and explosions echo in the desolate city, with residents concentrating on their homes.

According to an AFP reporter, a column of four Russian TIGR armored vehicles was specifically dropped and an army truck caught fire, taking place in several locations, including the fighting center.

In this city in northeastern Ukraine, near the Russian border with a population of 1.4 million, the governor of the Kharkiv region Oleg Sinekopov previously announced a turning point in the “light vehicles of the Russian enemy.”

“The Ukrainian armed forces are destroying the enemy,” he added.

8:31 a.m .: Kremlin re-ignites talks, Putin pays tribute to “forces” of his forces

The Kremlin on Sunday promised to hold talks with Ukraine, offering Russia a meeting place in neighboring Belarus, while the Russian president saluted the “heroism” of his forces. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky has said he is ready for talks with Moscow, but not in Belarus.

According to a spokesman for the Russian president, a delegation from the foreign ministry, including the presidential administration, arrived in Belarus to hold talks with Ukrainians.

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The Kremlin had already mentioned the talks on Friday, but several Ukrainian officials pointed out that this was not a serious plan, and that Moscow was seeking Ukraine’s surrender.

Moreover, after the proposal to start the dialogue, President Vladimir Putin called on the Ukrainian military to carry out a conspiracy and called the country’s authorities “drug addicts and neo-Nazis.”

Despite the international outcry on Thursday, he thanked Russia for invading Ukraine, “especially those who did their duty bravely,” and praised their role in the invasion on Special Forces Day.

8:08 am: Finland closes its airspace to Russian planes

The government has announced that Finland, along with several European countries, will close its airspace to Russian aircraft in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine.

The Nordic country, which has more than 1,300 kilometers of border with its Russian neighbors, “is preparing to close the airspace for Russian air traffic,” Transport Minister Timo Harraga said in a tweet from Saturday night to Sunday.

7:32 a.m .: Russian military “breakthrough” in the country’s second city, Kharkiv.

Authorities in Kharkiv (northeastern Ukraine), Ukraine’s second largest city, on Sunday announced the “turning point” of the Russian army to its center on the fourth day of the invasion of Moscow.

“There has been an improvement in Russian enemy light vehicles in the city of Kharkiv, including the central part,” local official Oleg Sinegoubov said on Facebook, indicating that the fighting was continuing and calling on some 1.4 million people not to leave. Houses.

7:16 am: Russian military says it has cordoned off two major cities in the south

The Russian military on Sunday said it had cordoned off two major cities in southern Ukraine, Gershon and Berdyansk, on the fourth day of the invasion.

“In the last 24 hours, Russian armed forces have completely blockaded the cities of Kherson and Berdyansk with a population of 290,000 and 110,000, respectively,” the Russian Defense Ministry said, citing TASS.

7 a.m .: Update on status

On the fourth day of Vladimir Putin’s attack, anti – aircraft warning sirens sounded again in Kiev overnight from Saturday to Sunday, with the official specialized telecommunications service calling on residents to seek refuge in the capital’s shelters.

The Ukrainian relief agency Interfax-Ukraine was quoted as saying that the Russian fire had also hit the fence of a radioactive waste storage center there.

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The Ukrainian military confirmed on Saturday evening that Russian forces were “continuing their offensive to lock up Kiev” after “completing their re-enactment” at the northern tip.

Fighting continues for control of the Vasilkiv air base, about 30 kilometers southwest of Kiev, he said Sunday morning, preventing firefighters from intervening to extinguish a large fire at an oil depot hit overnight by a Russian missile near the city. Administration of the Kiev region, Oleksi Koleba.

A Russian woman was killed in a fire at a residential building in Kharkiv (eastern) on Saturday evening, according to Ukrainian relief.

6:25 a.m .: North Korea holds US responsible for war in Ukraine

In its first official response after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea claimed that the United States was “the root cause of the crisis in Ukraine.” Washington has pursued a policy of “military domination in defiance of Russia’s legitimate demands for security,” the association’s researcher Ri Ji-sang said in a statement released Saturday from the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s site. Study. Of international politics.

“The root cause of the Ukrainian crisis is US authoritarianism and arbitrariness,” the report continues.

Mr. Ri criticized the United States for having “double standards” over the rest of the world. He accused them of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries in the name of “peace and stability”, while “(these) countries unnecessarily condemn defensive measures to ensure their own security.”

“The days of US rule are over,” the report said.

The news posted on the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s website was Pyongyang’s “less important” official reaction because it was published under a unique name, said Park Von-kon, a professor of North Korean research at Ewha University in Seoul. .

“Conclusion: This is all America’s fault,” he told the AFP.

Along with China, Russia is also one of the few allies of North Korea. Moscow has long opposed pressure on Pyongyang over its weapons programs and called for the easing of international sanctions.

3:44 am: Russian troops bomb radioactive waste storage facility in Kiev

From Saturday to Sunday, Russian troops bombed a radioactive waste storage facility in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. According to The Kiev Independent, the Ukrainian-language online news site NSW, only the fences and buildings of one of the Radon Association’s subsidiaries have been damaged, and the storage bins for access are currently intact. The Radon Association was founded in 1960 and has several locations in Ukraine. The main task of the company is to clean various types of radioactive waste

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2:41 am: Fierce fighting and explosions at oil mills in Ukraine

According to several media reports on Sunday morning, the Ukrainian armed forces are facing attacks from the Russian army “coming from all directions” in many places. The Ukrainian military said in a statement that it had met with “firm opposition” to the Russian military offensive. In particular, Ukrainian forces are said to have repulsed a Russian attack near Kharkiv.

According to media reports, a refinery in the suburbs of Kiev was also hit by rockets and set on fire.

In the south, in Gershon, Russian factions were able to advance after fierce fighting.

Heavy fighting is also going on in the Luhansk region.

12:50 am: Russia closes its airspace for Baltic and Slovenian companies

Russia announced on Sunday that it was closing its airspace to companies affiliated or registered in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Slovenia in retaliation for similar measures taken by these countries to allow Moscow after the Ukrainian invasion of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Slovenia.

Russia’s civil aviation agency Rosaviyatsia said in a statement that the ban would also apply to flights operated by these companies in Russia.

The company notes that the flights of Russian companies will continue to cross the international seas in the Baltic Sea, cross Lithuania and into the Kaliningrad region.

On Saturday, Russia closed its airspace for flights already connected to Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic, after these countries took a similar decision against Russian companies.

A spokesman for the German Ministry of Transportation told the AFP on Saturday that Germany also wanted to close its airspace to Russian planes following the invasion of Ukraine.

At the end of the day, the Austrian flag carrier Austrian Airlines announced that it would cancel its flights to Russia and avoid Russian airspace for at least the next seven days. The company explained in a statement that Austrian Airlines had made the decision “due to the evolution of the regulatory situation”.

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