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Zelenskyy wants direct talks with Putin

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* Ukraine faces economic shut down
* Europe’s biggest Steel Works “destroyed”
Journalists run for cover after heavy shelling on the only escape route used by locals, while Russian troops advance towards the capital in Irpin, near Kyiv, Ukraine March 16, 2022.

RUSSIA,UKRAINE: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday called for comprehensive peace talks with Moscow, saying Russia would otherwise need generations to recover from losses suffered during the war.

Zelenskyy said Ukraine had always offered solutions for peace and wanted meaningful and honest negotiations on peace and security, without delay.

“I want everyone to hear me now, especially in Moscow. The time has come for a meeting, it is time to talk,” he said in a video address released in the early hours of Saturday. “The time has come to restore territorial integrity and justice for Ukraine. Otherwise, Russia’s losses will be such that it will take you several generations to recover.” The two sides have been involved in talks for weeks with no sign of a breakthrough. Zelenskyy said Russian forces were deliberately blocking the supply of humanitarian supplies to cities under attack.

“This is a deliberate tactic. This is a war crime and they will answer for it, 100%,” he said.

Zelenskyy said there was no information about how many people had died after a theatre in the city of Mariupol, where hundreds of people had been sheltering, was struck on Wednesday. More than 130 people had been rescued so far, he said.

Meanwhile, the Russian invasion has brought 30% of the Ukrainian economy to a standstill, Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said. He said the figure was based on preliminary data from tax payments. However, the Minister said that the country was still servicing its debt, relying on borrowing due to the fall in taxes and customs revenues.

Meanwhile, One of Europe’s biggest iron and steel works, Azovstal, has been badly damaged as Russian forces lay siege to the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, officials said Sunday.

“One of the biggest metallurgic plants in #Europe destroyed. The economic losses for #Ukraine are huge. The environment is devastated,” tweeted Ukrainian lawmaker Lesia Vasylenko.


Monday, March 21, 2022 – 01:00

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