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Ukraine, Russia draw up tentative peace plan to end war: Report

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US and Russia make first 'high-level' contact since war began
Russia accused of bombing Mariupol theatre used as shelter
Ukraine swaps nine Russian soldiers for captured Mayor
A protester holds two posters of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with latest reports indicating of a potential breakthrough to end the war after three weeks of a Russian offensive in Ukraine.

RUSSIA,UKRAINE: Ukraine and Russia reached a tentative peace plan to end the war that was in its third week, The Kyiv Independent reported.

It further said the deal included a ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops if Kyiv renounced its ambitions for a membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and accepted limits on its armed forces.

Both sides have projected optimism during the fresh round of talks that began on Monday, even as Russian forces rained fire on Kyiv and other major cities in a bid to crush the resistance that has frustrated Kremlin hopes for a lightning victory.

n another development, the International Court of Justice in the Hague ordered Russia to suspend its military operations in the east European nation, a large symb. In an interim judgment, the United Nations tribunal ruled that Ukraine “has a plausible right not to be subjected to military operations by the Russian Federation for the purpose of preventing and punishing an alleged genocide.”

Hours ago, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the US Congress via video and pleaded with America for more weapons and tougher sanctions against Russia, saying, “We need you right now.”

With Moscow’s ground advance on the Ukrainian capital stalled, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said a neutral military status for Ukraine was being “seriously discussed” by the two sides, while Zelenskyy said Russia’s demands for ending the war were becoming “more realistic.”

Meanwhile, the United States and Russia on Wednesday held their first ‘high-level’ talks since the war in Ukraine began, the White House said, adding that US National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan held a discussion with General Nikolay Patrushev, the Secretary of the Russian Security Council.

Meanwhile, Ukraine handed over nine captured Russian soldiers to ensure the release of the mayor of the city of Melitopol, the Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted a senior official as saying on Wednesday.

The office of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy earlier said mayor Ivan Fedorov had been released but gave no details.

Interfax Ukraine quoted Zelenskiy press aide Darya Zarivnaya as saying, “Ivan Fedorov was released from Russian captivity … For him, Russia received nine captured soldiers who were born in 2002 and 2003. These are actually children.”Ukraine had said Fedorov was kidnapped last Friday by Russian forces.

Meanwhile, Russian forces destroyed a theatre where hundreds of civilians were sheltering in the beseiged city of Mariupol, local officials claimed on Wednesday, as Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin sharply escalated the rhetoric over the Ukraine war.

Some reports claimed that more than 1,000 people were seeking shelter in the theatre, although the number of casualties remained unknown and Moscow denied it had targeted the building. – THE HINDUSTAN TIMES,INDIA TODAY


Friday, March 18, 2022 – 01:00

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