President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated ahead of another session of negotiations that Ukraine may declare neutrality and give security assurances to Russia to achieve peace “as soon as possible.” However, he added that only a face-to-face meeting with Russia’s leader could bring the war to a conclusion.

In an interview with independent Russian media outlets, Zelenskyy hinted at possible concessions, but emphasised that Ukraine’s top priority is to protect its sovereignty and “territorial integrity,” preventing Russia from carving up the country, which Ukraine and the West believe is now Moscow’s goal.

According to Ukraine, the ‘catastrophic’ siege of Mariupol has killed 5,000 people.

Kyiv, Ukraine Getty Images/AFP As battle continued around Kyiv, including in a critical neighbourhood where defenders claim to have pushed out Russian invaders, Ukraine said Monday that at least 5,000 people had died in the “catastrophic” humanitarian crisis gripping impoverished Mariupol.

On the eve of new face-to-face peace negotiations in Turkey on Tuesday, many cities in Ukraine remained under Russian fire as Kyiv and its Western supporters sought to end the month-long conflict.

At least 5,000 people have been buried and up to 10,000 people may have died in the besieged southern port of Mariupol, according to a top Ukrainian official, confirming the city’s worst-case scenarios of destruction.

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