LVIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak says the latest round of talks with Russia is due to start imminently.

Podolyak said in a video message from Kyiv posted on Twitter that talks would begin within minutes.

Unlike earlier negotiations held on the Belarus border, Monday’s talks will be via video link.

It will be a “hard discussion,” Podolyak wrote on Twitter. “Although Russia realizes the nonsense of its aggressive actions, it still has a delusion that 19 days of violence against (Ukrainian) peaceful cities is the right strategy.”


LVIV, Ukraine – Fighting continued Monday on the outskirts of Kyiv, to the west, northwest, east and northeast, the Ukrainian president’s office said Monday. Regional officials are preparing more evacuations from the targeted areas.

Air raid alerts sounded in cities and towns all around the country overnight, from near the Russian border in the east to the Carpathian Mountains in the west.

Airstrikes hit residential buildings near the important southern city of Mykolaiv, as well as in the eastern city of Kharkiv, and knocked out a television tower in the Rivne region in the northwest, the president’s office said. Explosions rang out overnight around the Russian-occupied Black Sea port of Kherson.

Three airstrikes hit the northern city of Chernihiv overnight, and most of the town is without heat. Several areas haven’t had electricity in days. Utility workers are trying to restore power but frequently come under shelling.

The government announced plans for new humanitarian aid and evacuation corridors, although ongoing shelling caused similar efforts to fail in the last week.


NEW YORK – The Russian Defense Ministry said Monday its forces had advanced 11 kilometers (7 miles) over the past 24 hours, and reached five towns north of Mariupol.

In a video statement, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov did not elaborate on the advances, or comment on the humanitarian corridors or the crisis in Mariupol.


LVIV, Ukraine – Russian forces fired artillery strikes on suburbs northwest of Kyiv overnight and targeted points east of the capital, the head of the Kyiv region said Monday.

A town councilor for Brovary east of Kyiv was killed in fighting there, regional administration chief Oleksiy Kuleba said on Ukrainian television. He also reported strikes overnight on the northwest towns of Irpin, Bucha and Hostomel, which have seen some of the worst fighting in Russia’s stalled attempt to take the capital.

The general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said Monday morning that Russian troops have not made major advances over the past 24 hours despite expanding strikes to the west.

Ukrainian forces are targeting Russian bases, targeting their logistical abilities, the general staff said in a statement on Facebook marking the 19th day of the war.

The general staff accused Russian forces of setting up firing positions and military equipment in churches and other civilian infrastructure so that Ukrainian forces can’t fire back. The accusation could not be immediately verified, though Associated Press reporters have seen Russian armored vehicles in residential areas.

An artillery strike hit a nine-story apartment building in the Obolonsky district of northern Kyiv on Monday morning, destroying apartments on several floors and igniting a fire. Internal Affairs Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko says two people were killed, three hospitalized and nine treated at the scene.


LVIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he will continue negotiating with Russia and is waiting for a meeting with Vladimir Putin.

Zelenskyy has repeatedly called for a meeting with Putin. But so far, his requests have gone unanswered by the Kremlin. Zelenskyy said Sunday during his nightly address to the nation that his delegation has a “clear task” to do everything to ensure a meeting between the two presidents.

Zelenskyy said talks are held daily between the two countries via video conference. He said the talks are necessary to establish a cease-fire and more humanitarian corridors. Those corridors have saved more than 130,000 people in six days, he said.

The humanitarian convoy to the besieged city of Mariupol was blocked Sunday by Russian forces. Zelenskyy said they would try again Monday.


LVIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said it is a “black day” after Russia shelled a military base in the western part of his country.

Zelenskyy said in his nightly address on Sunday that Russia fired 30 rockets at the Yavoriv military base. He said the attack killed 35 people and injured 134 others.

The base is less than 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the Polish border. Zelenskyy said he had given Western leaders “clear warning” of the danger to the base. He asked NATO leaders again to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine, warning “it is only a matter of time” before Russian missiles fall on NATO territory.

Military analysts say the US, Britain and their European allies are unlikely to impose a no-fly zone because they believe it could escalate the war in Ukraine into a nuclear confrontation between NATO and Russia.


GENEVA – The Red Cross is warning of a “worst-case scenario” for hundreds of thousands of civilians in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol unless the parties agree to ensure their safety and access to humanitarian aid.

The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, said in a statement Sunday that residents of Mariupol “have endured a weeks-long life-and-death nightmare.”

The Geneva-based humanitarian agency said hundreds of thousands of people in the city are “facing extreme or total shortages of basic necessities like food, water and medicine.”

“Dead bodies, of civilians and combatants, remain trapped under the rubble or lying in the open where they fell,” the ICRC added. “Life-changing injuries and chronic, debilitating conditions cannot be treated. The human suffering is simply immense. “

The Red Cross called on the parties to agree on the terms of a cease-fire, routes for safe passage, and to ensure the deal is respected. It offered to act as a neutral intermediary in negotiations.


GENEVA – The UN human rights office says at least 596 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the start of the war, and at least 1,067 have been injured.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said Sunday that 43 of those killed were children, while 57 were injured.

The Geneva-based office had documented 579 civilian deaths and 1.002 injured a day earlier.

It said most recorded civilian casualties were caused “by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area,” such as shelling from heavy artillery and missile strikes.

UN officials said they believe the actual number of casualties is “considerably higher” than so far recorded because the receipt of information has been delayed and many reports still need to be corroborated.

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