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Russia-Ukraine updates: Putin blocking hundreds of ships in Black Sea: EC

FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Russian forces are continuing their attempted push through Ukraine from multiple directions, while Ukrainians, led by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, are putting up “stiff resistance,” according to U.S. officials.

The attack began Feb. 24, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation.”

Russian forces moving from neighboring Belarus toward Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, have advanced closer to the city center in recent days despite the resistance. Heavy shelling and missile attacks, many on civilian buildings, continue in Kyiv, as well as major cities like Kharkiv and Mariupol. Russia also bombed western cities for the first time this week, targeting Lviv and a military base near the Poland border.

Russia has been met by sanctions from the United States, Canada and countries throughout Europe, targeting the Russian economy as well as Putin himself.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

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Mar 23, 8:58 pm
64 attacks on health care facilities since start of invasion: WHO

There have been over 60 attacks on health care facilities since Russia invaded Ukraine, according to the World Health Organization, which said it “condemns these attacks in the strongest possible terms.”

WHO has verified 64 such incidents between Feb. 24 and March 21 — about two to three attacks per day — resulting in 15 deaths and 37 injuries, the organization said in a statement Wednesday assessing the impact of the war on Ukraine’s health infrastructure.

“Attacks on health care are a violation of international humanitarian law, but a disturbingly common tactic of war — they destroy critical infrastructure, but worse, they destroy hope,” Dr. Jarno Habicht, WHO representative in Ukraine, said in a statement. “They deprive already vulnerable people of care that is often the difference between life and death. Health care is not — and should never be — a target.”

Among other health care impacts amid the war, many hospitals are limiting primary health care and essential services to focus on treating the wounded, it said. Nearly 1,000 health facilities are also close to conflict lines or in seized areas, and about half of the country’s pharmacies are believed to have closed, according to WHO.

“The consequence of that — limited or no access to medicines, facilities and health professionals — mean that treatments of chronic conditions have almost stopped,” it said.

Additionally, 1 in 4 Ukrainians have been “forcibly displaced” by the war, “aggravating the condition of those suffering from noncommunicable diseases,” the organization said.

-ABC News’ Christine Theodorou

Mar 23, 8:26 pm
Russian humanitarian resolution on Ukraine defeated in UN

The United Nations Security Council defeated a resolution put forward by Russia on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

In a symbolic gesture, 13 members of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday abstained from voting on the resolution, which made no mention of Russia’s role in creating the crisis and had been roundly criticized by members. Only Russia and China voted in favor.

No country voted against it, including the veto-wielding United States, United Kingdom or French envoys.

“To be honest, it was not necessary to veto, and I don’t think the resolution that was put before us was worthy of the U.S. using its precious veto power,” U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.

-ABC News’ Conor Finnegan

Mar 23, 7:48 pm
Zelenskyy marks 1 month of war with plea for global support

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy marked the one-month anniversary of Russia’s invasion by calling on the world’s population to publicly and peacefully show their support for Ukraine.

“The war of Russia is not only the war against Ukraine, its meaning is much wider,” Zelenskyy said, pivoting from speaking in Ukrainian to English during his latest address. “Russia started the war against freedom as it is.”

“This is only the beginning for Russia on the Ukrainian land,” he continued. “Russia is trying to defeat the freedom of all people in Europe, of all the people in the world. It tries to show that only crude and cruel force matters. It tries to show that people do not matter as well as everything else that make us people. That’s the reason we all must stop Russia.”

He urged the global community to “stand against the war” on March 24 — the one-month anniversary of the start of the invasion.

“Come from your offices, your homes, your schools and universities. Come in the name of peace. Come with Ukrainian symbols to support Ukraine, to support freedom, to support life,” he said. “Come to your squares, your streets. Make yourselves visible and heard. Say that people matter. Freedom matters. Peace matters. Ukraine matters.”

-ABC News’ Desiree Adib

Mar 23, 7:07 pm
Ukraine’s UN ambassador details ‘humanitarian disaster’

The Ukrainian ambassador called attention to the humanitarian crisis that’s unfolded in the weeks following Russia’s invasion during an emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.

“Tomorrow will be another symbolic date, a month since the lives of millions of Ukrainians were split in two parts,” Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya said while speaking on a resolution put forward by Ukraine. “A peaceful past full of joy and positive plans, and the present with war, suffering, death, and destruction. Thousands of Ukrainians have lost their lives over this month — young and old, women and men, civilians and military.”

Kyslytsya further detailed the “humanitarian disaster” caused by the war.

“People are starving to death in the occupied or besieged areas. People are being killed in their attempt to flee from conflict-affected areas. Cities are razed to the ground by shelling and airstrikes,” he said.

The ambassador urged countries to vote in favor of the resolution put forward by his country, entitled “Humanitarian Consequences of the Aggression Against Ukraine.”

“It will be critical to prevent the spillover effect for the entire world,” he said. “That is why the text also mentions the impact of the conflict on food security globally, in particular in the least-developed countries, as well as energy security.”

-ABC News’ Zoha Qamar

Mar 23, 5:18 pm
Ukraine military forcing Russia into ‘defensive position’ near Kyiv: US official

Russian forces west of Kyiv are “digging in” and moving into a “defensive position,” according to a senior U.S. defense official.

“It’s not that they’re not advancing, they’re actually not trying to advance right now,” the official told reporters Wednesday. “They’re taking more defensive positions.”

East of Kyiv, Ukrainian forces near Brovary have pushed the Russians “back to about 55 km” (roughly 34 miles) east and northeast of Kyiv, according to the official. That update comes a day after the official said Russian forces had stalled at between 20 and 30 miles east and northeast of Kyiv.

Ukrainian authorities claimed earlier Wednesday that they have managed to encircle the Russian forces that had advanced on Kyiv and were in some key towns on the edge of the capital. They said they had managed to push back Russian troops from the northwestern town of Irpin, although it was still being shelled.

-ABC News’ Luis Martinez and Patrick Reevell

Mar 23, 4:40 pm
Russia claims forces have made advances, destroyed Ukrainian military assets

Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed on Wednesday that its forces have advanced another 2 kilometers and are fighting against units of Ukraine’s 54th Separate Mechanized Brigade in the southern and southeastern outskirts of Novo-Mikhaylovka.

Russia said troops it backs in Donetsk inflicted fire damage to Ukraine’s units of the 25th Airborne Brigade fighting for the capture of Kamenka and Novobakhmutovka.

Russia claimed it hit 86 Ukrainian military assets, among them six command posts; two rocket-launch systems and 49 areas of concentration of equipment and military hardware.

The ministry also claimed Russian forces shot down nine Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles near Izyum, Kiev, Sumy, Kharkov and Chernigov.

Russia said it destroyed 255 unmanned aerial vehicles, 189 anti-aircraft missile systems, 1,564 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 158 multiple launch rocket systems, 612 field artillery and mortars, as well as 1,367 units of special military vehicles since the beginning of the invasion.

Mar 23, 4:31 pm
IAEA ready to send experts, equipment to Ukraine

The International Atomic Energy Agency is ready to send experts and equipment to Ukraine to help ensure the safety and security of its nuclear facilities and prevent the risk of a severe accident, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said Wednesday.

In a video statement, Grossi said he is gravely concerned about the situation and stressed the urgent need to conclude an agreed framework that would enable the IAEA to provide technical assistance for the safe and secure operation of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities, which include 15 reactors a well as the Chernobyl site.

“I have personally expressed my readiness to immediately come to Ukraine to conclude such an agreement, which would include substantial assistance and support measures, including on-site presence of IAEA experts at different facilities in Ukraine, as well as the delivery of vital safety equipment,” Grossi said.

He added: “I hope to be able to conclude this agreed framework without further delay. We cannot afford to lose any more time. We need to act now.”

-ABC News’ Rashid Haddou

Mar 23, 4:10 pm
US watching Russian propaganda surrounding chemical weapons

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Wednesday that the U.S. is looking at the “deliberate drumbeat of misinformation” and propaganda from Moscow, which has “all the markers of a precursor” for them to use chemical weapons.

Earlier, President Joe Biden said there is a “real threat” of Russia using chemical weapons in Ukraine.

Sullivan declined to comment on whether Biden’s assessment was based on movements of weapons, or if it was based entirely on state propaganda.

Sullivan also commented on negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and said there are questions about Russia’s trustworthiness.

“I will point out that Russia has not been trustworthy in its public statements about its intentions with respect to Ukraine for months. So, we take everything that they say at the negotiating table, or from their podiums, with a very large grain of salt,” he said, talking to reporters on Air Force One.

-ABC News’ Justin Gomez

Mar 23, 3:23 pm
US assesses ‘thousands’ of Ukrainian civilians have been killed

The U.S. has assessed that “thousands” of Ukrainian civilians have been killed by the war, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack said at a briefing on Wednesday.

Van Schaack declined to speak to particular incidents that back up this assessment, but when asked about the attack on the Mariupol theater, which had been marked that children were among those sheltering inside, she said it was a civilian target that the Russians should not have hit.

The U.S. earlier formally declared that Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.

-ABC News’ Conor Finnegan

Mar 23, 2:24 pm
At least 977 civilians killed, 1,594 injured in Ukraine: UN

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Wednesday that at least 977 civilians were killed and 1,594 have been injured in Ukraine since Feb. 24.

“Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes,” the OHCHR said in a statement.

The OHCHR said the actual number of casualties are considerably higher. Then receipt of information from some areas with intense hostilities, like Mariupol, have been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration.

Other areas where the number of casualties are still being corroborated include Volnovakha (Donetsk region), Izium (Kharkiv region), Sievierodonetsk and Rubizhne (Luhansk region), and Trostianets (Sumy region), where there are allegations of numerous civilian casualties, according to the OHCHR. Casualty numbers from these regions are not included.

-ABC News’ Christine Theodorou

Mar 23, 2:16 pm
US formally says Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday announced that the State Deptartment has made a formal assessment that Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.

Last week, President Joe Biden said he believed Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was a war criminal and Blinken told reporters he personally believed war crimes had been committed. But now, the agency has made a formal determination, Blinken said in a statement.

“Based on information currently available, the U.S. government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine,” Blinken said, citing a “careful review of available information from public and intelligence sources.”

Blinken added: “As with any alleged crime, a court of law with jurisdiction over the crime is ultimately responsible for determining criminal guilt in specific cases. The U.S. government will continue to track reports of war crimes and will share information we gather with allies, partners, and international institutions and organizations, as appropriate.”

Blinken said there are “numerous credible reports of indiscriminate attacks and attacks deliberately targeting civilians, as well as other atrocities.”

“Russia’s forces have destroyed apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, critical infrastructure, civilian vehicles, shopping centers, and ambulances, leaving thousands of innocent civilians killed or wounded,” Blinken said.

-ABC News’ Conor Finnegan

Mar 23, 1:54 pm
Zelenskyy tells French lawmakers Mariupol resembles the ‘ruins of Verdun’

In an address to French lawmakers on Wednesday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Mariupol resembles the ruins of Verdun following the largest battle fought during WWI.

He said Russia brought “state terror” to Ukraine.

Zelenskyy called for increased sanctions against Russia, more arms for Ukraine and for French companies to leave the Russian market, naming Renault, Auchan and Leroy Merlin.

“You can help us. I know you can!” Zelenskyy said.

-ABC News’ Christine Theodorou

Mar 23, 1:25 pm
Ukraine’s lead negotiator says talks with Russia may take months

Ukraine’s lead negotiator, Mykhailo Podolyak, said Wednesday he believes the talks with Russia are absolutely “real” and that the Kremlin is not trying to use them to “stall for time” in order to regroup.

Podolyak, a senior aid to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, told ABC News in an interview that he believes the Russians are looking to make a deal, but he warned Ukraine believes it’s possible it may take months.

He said Russia has stopped issuing ultimatums and is now in the process of seeing how far it has to lower its goals.

Asked if Ukraine is ready to give up its ambitions to join NATO, Russia’s key demand, Podolyak called on the U.S. to take the lead in forming a broader alliance that would give Ukraine security guarantees.

Zelenskyy has made it clear Ukraine is ready to potentially give up NATO membership, provided it gets security guarantees from Western countries that would protect it from a future Russian invasion.

When asked what that would look like, Podolyak suggested a potential security guarantee could be the U.S. and allies putting in writing that, in case of any future aggression from Russia, a no-fly zone would be put in place.

He has suggested that some NATO countries may be prepared to give those guarantees separate to NATO.

Podolyak also denied reports from several newspapers that claimed Russia and Ukraine are discussing a 15-point peace plan in which Ukraine would give up its NATO ambitions and accept some limits on its military in return for security guarantees from western countries.

He said for now, Russia and Ukraine both have drafts and Russia is leaking some of its drafts, pretending that it is a deal close to being signed.

-ABC News’ Patrick Reevell

Mar 23, 12:40 pm
Putin says ‘unfriendly countries’ will only be able to buy Russian gas in rubles

Russian President Vladimir Putin told his cabinet on Wednesday that Russia will require payments for natural gas in rubles, saying he will refuse to accept payments in “compromised currencies,” including the dollar and the euro, according to Russia’s state-run news agency, TASS.

Putin said Russia will continue to supply natural gas to other countries.

“I made the decision to implement within the shortest possible time the package of measures to transfer payments — we will start with that — for our natural gas supplied to the so-called ‘unfriendly’ states to Russian rubles,” Putin said.

-ABC News’ Christine Theodorou

Mar 23, 12:07 pm
Putin blocking hundreds of ships filled with wheat in the Black Sea: von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday accused Russia’s President Vladimir Putin of blocking hundreds of ships filled with wheat in the Black Sea.

“Our continent is being rocked by a tectonic shift, not seen since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The consequences of this war on Europe’s security architecture will be far reaching. And I’m not just talking about security in military terms, but also energy security and even food security are at stake,” she said in a speech to the European Commission.

Von der Leyen addedd: “The effects of the Russian war go beyond energy of course, they also disrupting vital food supplies and driving food prices up.”

The consequences of this disruption will be felt from Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia to Africa and the Far East, according to von der Leyen.

“We should not forget that Ukraine alone provides more than half of the world food programs’ wheat supply. The shelling and the bumping makes it impossible for Ukrainian farmers to do so,” she said.

“I call on Putin to let those ships go otherwise he will not only be responsible for one death, but also for famine and hunger. Let these ships go,” von der Leyen added.

-ABC News’ Christine Theodorou

Mar 23, 11:23 am
NATO allies expected to announce major increases to forces in the east

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters Wednesday that he expects allies to announce major increases to forces in the eastern part of the defense alliance at Thursday’s summit.

Stoltenberg said the first step would be the deployment of four new NATO battle groups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. With the existing forces in place, there will be eight multi-national battle groups all along the eastern flank, from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

“We face a new reality for our security, so we must reset our deterrence and defense for the longer term,” Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg said he expects allies will agree to provide additional support to Ukraine, including cybersecurity assistance and equipment to help Ukraine protect against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.

He added that NATO has a responsibility to make sure the conflict does not escalate beyond Ukraine, as “this will cause even more death and even more destruction.”

Stoltenberg also called on Belarus to end its complicity in the war.

-ABC News’ Christine Theodorou

Mar 23, 11:13 am
Bridge linking Chernihiv Oblast to Kyiv destroyed, governor says

The governor of Ukraine’s Chernihiv Oblast, Viacheslav Chaus, claimed Wednesday that Russian forces have destroyed the bridge linking the region to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

In a video posted on Telegram, Chaus shows the destroyed bridge over the Desna river, which he said effectively means that the road from Chernihiv to Kyiv is now severed.

-ABC News’ Fergal Gallagher

Mar 23, 10:53 am
Sending NATO peacekeepers to Ukraine would be ‘very reckless’, Russia warns

Russia warned Wednesday that sending NATO peacekeepers to Ukraine would be “a very reckless and extremely dangerous decision.”

Last week, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that Poland will formally submit a proposal at the NATO summit on Thursday for a peacekeeping mission in Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on Poland’s plans while speaking to reporters Wednesday.

“It would be a very reckless and extremely dangerous decision,” Peskov said. “A special military operation is going on, and any possible contact by our troops with NATO troops can lead to quite clear consequences that would be hard to repair.”

Mar 23, 10:32 am
Russia claims US isn’t interested in progress in Ukraine

Russia claimed Wednesday that the United States isn’t interested in the rapid progress of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.

During a speech to students at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in Russia’s capital, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Washington of wanting to keep Moscow and Kyiv “in a state of hostilities” for “as long as possible.”

“Negotiations are difficult because the Ukrainian side seems to have expressed understanding of the things that should be agreed upon during the negotiations, constantly changing its position, refusing its own proposals,” Lavrov said. “It is difficult to get rid of the impression that they are being held by the hand by their American colleagues.”

He alleged “it is unprofitable” for the U.S. “that this process be completed quickly.”

“They expect to continue pumping weapons to Ukraine. Provocative statements are being made,” he added. “Apparently they want to keep us as long as possible in a state of hostilities.”

Mar 23, 10:27 am
US military aid begins to arrive in Ukraine

The first deliveries from the $800 million-military assistance that President Joe Biden authorized for Ukraine a week ago have started to arrive, a White House official confirmed to ABC News.

The military aid package includes Stinger anti-aircraft systems; Javelin anti-armor weapons; light anti-armor weapons; AT-4 anti-armor systems and tactical unmanned aerial systems.

CNN first reported the deliveries.

-ABC News’ Justin Gomez

Mar 23, 10:11 am
Video shows entire neighborhoods destroyed in Mariupol

Video has emerged showing the devastation in Ukraine’s besieged city of Mariupol.

Drone footage recorded Wednesday and released by a Ukrainian right-wing paramilitary group that has been incorporated into Ukraine’s National Guard shows entire neighborhoods destroyed in Mariupol. Mere shells are all that remain of buildings and smoke is still rising from some of the wreckage. The video has been verified by ABC News.

Ukrainian troops are continuing to battle persistent efforts by Russian forces to seize the strategic port city in southeastern Ukraine.

-ABC News’ Fergal Gallagher

Mar 23, 9:39 am
Russia, Ukraine agree on nine humanitarian corridors for Wednesday

Russia and Ukraine have agreed on nine humanitarian corridors to try to evacuate civilians trapped in embattled Ukrainian towns and cities on Wednesday, according to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.

But the agreement does not include a safe passage from the heart of Mariupol, Vereshchuk said in an address Wednesday, adding that she hopes people wishing to leave the besieged southeastern port city can make it to nearby Berdyansk, where humanitarian aid awaits them. She said 24 buses are on standby to transport people.

Some of the previous attempts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol have failed after Russian forces continued to shell the city, despite agreeing to temporary cease-fires.

Mar 23, 9:17 am
Belarus expels several Ukrainian diplomats, closes Ukrainian Consulate General

Belarus announced Wednesday its decision to expel several Ukrainian diplomats and close the Ukrainian Consulate General in Brest.

“The Ukrainian embassy will continue to work in Belarus in a 1+4 format, that is, an ambassador and four staff members,” Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Anatoly Glaz said in a statement, according to the state-run news agency BelTA.

Mar 23, 8:27 am
Ukraine says 100,000 remain trapped in besieged Mariupol

Fierce fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces continued in Mariupol on Wednesday morning, with the Ukrainian government warning that as many as 100,000 people remain trapped in the besieged port city.

One Mariupol resident, who managed to escape with her elderly parents and four cats, told ABC News her home had no electricity or heat and that she would have to scavenge for food and other supplies under Russian bombardment. She recalled seeing bodies strewn in the streets because residents had no choice but to leave them there.

“We understood anytime we might be killed by the next bomb,” she said during an interview Tuesday.

Pro-Russia separatist forces from the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic in Ukraine’s disputed Donbas region said Wednesday that 562 civilians, including 110 children, were evacuated from encircled Mariupol to the occupied town of Bezymenne in the past 24 hours. A total of 4,621 civilians were evacuated from Mariupol between March 5 and March 23, according to the separatist forces.

Mar 23, 7:59 am
Russia claims to have swapped prisoners with Ukraine

Russia and Ukraine have exchanged prisoners twice since the start of the war, according to Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Maria Zakharova.

“Two prisoner exchanges have been completed between Russia and Ukraine,” Zakharova said in a statement Wednesday.

Mar 23, 7:56 am
Poland expels 45 Russian diplomats for espionage

Russia’s ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreev, said Wednesday that he has received a note from the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanding the expulsion of 45 Russian diplomats on charges of espionage.

The diplomats must leave Poland within five days, according to Andreev.

The news came after a spokesperson for Poland’s Internal Security Agency announced on Polish television that authorities had compiled a list of 45 Russian diplomats in the country who were suspected of spying.

Mar 23, 7:45 am
Two residential areas of Kyiv shelled overnight, officials say

Russian shelling hit two residential areas of Kyiv on Tuesday night, according to the city administration.

A shopping center and two private houses were damaged in the Sviatoshynskyi district of the Ukrainian capital, but no one was injured and the fires have been extinguished, officials said.

Several private houses and high-rise buildings were on fire in the Shevchenkivskyi district, where four people were injured. Rescuers and medics were still on the scene Wednesday, and the extent of the damage was under assessment, according to officials.

Mar 23, 7:32 am
Russia doesn’t believe claims of civilian deaths in Ukraine

Moscow doesn’t believe Kyiv’s claims of civilian deaths in Ukraine caused by Russian forces, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.

“We don’t believe the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office. Russian troops are carrying out no strikes, aren’t firing on civilians,” Peskov told reporters during a daily call. “Russian servicemen are helping civilians and, regrettably, more and more eyewitnesses get out of the cities saying that they are being held there as human shields, and that nationalist battalions are firing — and there are plenty of such cases — on civilians.”

Mar 23, 6:42 am
Over 3.6 million refugees have fled Ukraine: UNHCR

More than 3.6 million people have been forced to flee Ukraine since Russian forces invaded on Feb. 24, according to the latest figures from the United Nations refugee agency.

The tally from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) amounts to just over 8% of Ukraine’s population — which the World Bank counted at 44 million at the end of 2020 — on the move across borders in 28 days.

More than half of the refugees crossed into neighboring Poland, UNHCR figures show.

Mar 23, 5:45 am
Russian forces allegedly destroy Ukrainian weapons depot

Russia claimed Wednesday that its forces carried out an airstrike destroying a weapons depot of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The Russian Ministry of Defense also alleged that troops have destroyed 430 aircraft, including drones, as well as more than 1,500 tanks and other combat armoured vehicles belonging to the Ukrainian Armed Forces since the “special military operation” began Feb. 24.

Mar 23, 5:20 am
Talks with Moscow ‘are moving forward,’ Zelenskyy says

Negotiations between Ukraine and Russia are “very difficult” but “moving forward,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday.

“It’s very difficult, sometimes confrontational,” Zelenskyy said in an early morning address. “But step by step, we are moving forward.”

Zelenskyy added that he is “grateful to all international mediators who are standing up for Ukraine.”

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