RUSSIA,UKRAINE,:Russia and Ukraine agreed on Thursday to the need for humanitarian corridors to help civilians escape Moscow’s eight-day-old invasion, the first apparent progress in talks, as the United States added to Western sanctions on more oligarchs.
Thousands are thought to have died or been wounded as the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two unfolds, creating 1 million refugees, hits to Russia’s economy and fears of wider conflict in the West unthought-of for decades.
Russian forces have continued to surround and attack Ukrainian cities, including Mariupol, the main port in the east which has been under heavy bombardment, with no water or power. Officials say they cannot evacuate the wounded.
After talks at an undisclosed location, Russia said “substantial progress” had been made while the Ukrainian side pointed to an understanding on helping ordinary people, but not the results Kyiv had hoped for.
Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said a temporary halt to fighting in select locations was also possible.
They had also seen eye-to-eye on the delivery of medicines and food to the places where the fiercest fighting was taking place. The negotiators will meet again next week, the Belarusian state news agency Belta quoted Podolyak as saying.
Meanwhile, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in eastern Ukraine which came under attack from Russian shelling early Friday, was extinguished at dawn Ukrainian officials said.
They had earlier reported that no immediate radiation rise was detected and “essential” equipment was unaffected.
Images on a live feed from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant site earlier showed blasts lighting up the night sky and sending up plumes of smoke.
– THE TELEGRAPH INDIA, THE HINDUSTAN TIMES,IANS