As the next round of ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine kicked off in Istanbul Tuesday, Ukrainian forces have started counterattacks in parts of Kyiv in response to overnight shelling of reclaimed territory of Irpin.
It marks the first face-to-face talks in more than two weeks, but hopes of progress are reportedly slim.
Addressing the delegates, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the talks need to yield “concrete results”.
In an appeal he made overnight, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on world powers to toughen sanctions on Russia, including an oil embargo.
A senior US defense official confirmed that Ukraine has managed to retake the town of Trostyanets near the northern region of Sumy and that Russia’s advance on Kyiv has stalled amid a shift in focus towards the eastern Donbas region.
The British Defense Ministry said in its latest assessment of the fighting that Ukrainian forces have conducted localised counter attacks north west of Kyiv with some success, forcing the Russians to step back from multiple positions.
“In Kyiv region, after the village of Lukianivka, where there were very fierce battles a few days ago, we liberated Rudnytske village,” Vadym Denysenko, an adviser to the Interior Minister of Ukraine, said on television.
Meanwhile, talking to the media after presenting the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget, President Joe Biden said he is not trying to walk back on the remarks he made about Vladimir Putin, but was expressing the moral outrage he felt toward the way the Russian leader is dealing the war in Ukraine. “I want to make it clear: I wasn’t then, nor am I now, articulating a policy change. I was expressing the moral outrage that I feel, and I make no apologies for it,” he told reporters.
Biden’s earlier statement that Putin should be removed from power had turned controversial.
“I just was expressing my outrage. He shouldn’t remain in power. Just like, you know, bad people shouldn’t continue to do bad things. But it doesn’t mean we have a fundamental policy to do anything to take Putin down in any way,” Biden added.
In another development, the U.S. Navy has sent six EA-18G Growler aircraft to the Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby clarified that they are not being deployed to be used against Russian forces in Ukraine. “They are being deployed completely in keeping with our efforts to bolster NATO’s deterrence and defense capabilities along that eastern flank.”
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