Small progress made in peace talks, but civilians still trapped – Ukraine and Russia latest: the top headlines

Monday, March 7, 2022, is the twelfth day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — and it is also another day where refugees have struggled to escape fighting, reports suggest.

In the course of the conflict, two ceasefires designed to allow civilians to flee embattled cities have collapsed.

However, a third round of peace talks made little progress on the issues, both Ukrainian and Russian negotiators say.

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Those peace talks are not set to end any time soon, according to French President Macron, who believes a negotiated end to the conflict is weeks away.

Here are the top five headlines from the war today.

Ukraine accuses Moscow of ‘medieval’ tactics

The worsening humanitarian crisis — which has displaced more than 1 million people in under two weeks — continues to uproot Ukrainians, Yuras Karmanau, from Associated Press reports.

Russian forces intensified their shelling in a move Kyiv condemned as a medieval-style siege by Moscow to batter it into submission.

A third round of talks between the two sides ended with a top Ukrainian official saying there had been minor, unspecified progress towards establishing safe corridors that would allow civilians to escape the fighting.

Talks end with minor progress

An adviser to the Ukrainian president says a little progress has been made on safe corridors to allow civilians to flee some besieged Ukrainian cities during a third round of talks with Russia, PA reports suggest.

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said without elaboration that “there were some small positive shifts regarding logistics of humanitarian corridors”.

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He said that consultations will continue on ways to negotiate an end to hostilities.

Russia’s top negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said he expects that humanitarian corridors in Ukraine will finally start functioning on Tuesday. He said no progress has been made on a political settlement, but he voiced hope that the next round could be more productive.

“Our expectations from the talks have failed, but we hope that we would be able to make a more significant step forward next time,” Mr Medinsky said. “The talks will continue.”

French president does not expect peaceful settlement any time soon

French President Emmanuel Macron said that he does not expect a negotiated end to the war in Ukraine for weeks.

He said that he has told the Russian leader that a ceasefire must come before any real dialogue, but that President Vladimir Putin has refused, making their regular talks “difficult”.

“I don’t think that in the days and weeks to come there will be a true negotiated solution,” Mr Macron said at a forum while campaigning to win re-election in France’s April presidential elections.

He said that Mr Putin is making a “historic fault” with his war pitted against Ukrainians, “brothers”. Mr Macron stressed the need to respect the people of all countries “and ensure that no nation, no people be humiliated”.

Mr Macron said that Russia, too, must be respected as a country and people because “there is no durable peace if Russia is not (part of) a… grand architecture of peace on our continent. Because history and geography are stubborn”.

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Zelenskyy to give ‘historic’ address to Parliament

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, will give an ‘historic address’ to MPs on Tuesday evening by video link, it’s been confirmed tonight.

Mr Zelensky will speak directly to MPs at 5pm, via video link.

It is an extremely rare accolade not normally offered to world leaders, who normally deliver addresses to both Houses of Parliament outside the chamber, such as in Westminster Hall.

Larger-than-usual screens will be installed in the chamber overnight, and more than 500 headsets will be made available to enable MPs to hear a simultaneous translation in English.

Speaker Sir Lindsay said: “Every parliamentarian wants to hear directly from the president, who will be speaking to us live from Ukraine, so this is an important opportunity for the House. Thanks again to our incredible staff for working at pace to make this historic possible address.”

The boy ‘hero’, 11, who fled Ukraine alone with a backpack, his passport and a phone number written on his hand

An 11-year-old boy who fled Ukraine alone with only a backpack, his passport and a phone number scrawled in ink on his hand has been hailed as a ‘hero’.

The youngster managed to reach the Slovakian border on his own – and was promptly called a ‘hero of the night’ by the authorities after crossing to safety.

The boy, wearing a bobble hat, had just a backpack, a plastic bag, his passport and the telephone number written on the back of his palm, according to the Slovak Ministry of Interior. The report has not been independently verified.

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“He came all alone because his parents had to stay in Ukraine. Volunteers took care of him, took him to a warm place and gave him food and drink,” the ministry said.

Get the full story here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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