Kremlin, Ukraine hold fourth round of talks as Russia presses toward Kyiv

A Ukrainian member of the territorial defense exits through the window of an apartment in a block which was destroyed by an artillery strike in Kyiv, Ukraine
AP/Vadim Ghirda

Officials from Russia and Ukraine are set to engage in a fourth round of peace talks on Monday as Moscow presses toward Kyiv in the third week of its invasion.

The previous three rounds of talks have not led to any major breakthroughs, instead largely centering on humanitarian issues and cease-fires to allow civilians to leave cities under attack by Russia. Even those agreements, however, have fallen through on a number of occasions.

Monday’s talks mark the first time the two sides are sitting for negotiations in a week, according to The Associated Press. The discussion — held by video conference despite the others being in person — comes on day 19 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Kyiv will ask for peace, a cease-fire, the immediate withdrawal of troops and security guarantees, according to a tweet from Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak, requests that he said will make for a “hard discussion.”

“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,” he added.

In a tweet roughly two hours later, Podolyak said the two sides “actively [expressed] their specified positions” in the talks.

“Communication is being held yet it’s hard. The reason for the discord is too different political systems. [Ukraine] is a free dialogue within the society & an obligatory consensus. [Russia] is an ultimatum suppression of its own society,” he added.

The fourth round of talks come after Ukraine experienced serious blows over the weekend in the Russian invasion. On Sunday, at least 35 people were killed when a Russian missile strike hit a base less than 15 miles from Ukraine’s border with Poland, and a second Ukrainian mayor was reported abducted by Russian forces.

Tags evacuation invasion Kyiv Moscow peace talks Russia Ukraine

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