Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know now

Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues in the village of Krasilivka outside of Kyiv
A Ukrainian soldier walks past a burned-out car as Russia’s assault on Ukraine continues in the village of Krasylivka outside Kyiv, Ukraine March 26, 2022. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

March 27, 2022

(Reuters) – Ukraine is ready to discuss going neutral under a peace deal, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, despite another senior Ukrainian official accusing Russia of splitting the country in two.


* Russia is trying to split Ukraine in two to create a Moscow-controlled region after failing to take over the whole country, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence service said.

* The Russian-backed eastern Ukrainian rebel region of Luhansk said it could hold a referendum on joining Russia, warning Kyiv that such a vote had no legal basis and would spark a stronger international response.

* Russia continued its “full-scale armed aggression” while Ukrainian forces repelled seven attacks in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said.


* The next round of face-to-face talks between Ukraine and Russia will take place in Turkey on March 28-30, Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamia said on social media.

* Senior American officials said the United States had no regime-change policy in Russia, and stepped up efforts to clarify President Joe Biden’s statement that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.”

* French President Emmanuel Macron called for restraint in words and deeds in dealing with the Ukraine conflict after Biden’s comments.

* Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Russian President Vladimir Putin that a ceasefire and better humanitarian conditions were needed in Ukraine after Moscow’s invasion.


* The United Nations Human Rights Office said 1,119 civilians have been killed and 1,790 injured since Russia’s attack on Ukraine began.

* Ukraine has asked the International Committee of the Red Cross not to open a planned office in Russia’s Rostov-on-Don because doing so would legitimize Moscow’s “humanitarian corridors” and the kidnapping and forced deportation of Ukrainians from the Greek Catholic Church in Lviv to take Ukrainian soldiers to bury.


* “More than a month has passed since the invasion of Ukraine, since the beginning of this cruel and senseless war which, like any war, is a defeat for everyone, for all of us,” Pope Francis told thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square for his Sunday blessing.

(Compiled by Frances Kerry) Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know now

Bobby Allyn

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