Ukraine war entering the 3rd month, UN chief set to meet Putin, Zelensky

Ukraine War: Guterres will see Zelensky and Ukraine's foreign minister on Thursday, two days after visiting Moscow, the United Nations said in a statement.
The remnants of a house, that residents say was destroyed by Russian shelling, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Borodyanka, Kyiv region.(REUTERS)
The remnants of a house, that residents say was destroyed by Russian shelling, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Borodyanka, Kyiv region.(REUTERS)
Published on Apr 23, 2022 07:56 AM IST
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ByIshika Yadav | Edited by Swati Bhasin

With the Ukraine war set to enter the third month, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres is preparing to meet Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky next week. His face-to-face appeal to end the war comes just as Moscow plans to widen its war ambitions in southern Ukraine too, days after shifting focus from the capital city of Kyiv to the east.

The UN chief will visit Moscow to meet with Putin on Tuesday. “He hopes to talk about what can be done to bring peace to Ukraine urgently,” said UN associate spokesperson Eri Kaneko.

Guterres will then see Zelensky and Ukraine's foreign minister on Thursday, two days after visiting Moscow, the United Nations said in a statement.

In both visits, Guterres aims to discuss “steps that can be taken right now” to stop the fighting and help people get to safety”.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and British prime minister Boris Johnson also visited Ukraine earlier this month to extend their support to the war-battered nation. Meanwhile, Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer met Putin earlier in April to make an appeal for ‘ceasefire’. This was said to be the Russian president’s first face-to-face meeting with an EU leader since ordering the invasion of Ukraine.

The war between Russia and Ukraine entered day 59 on Saturday, a day after Russian and Ukrainian negotiators held another round of discussion.

Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said diplomatic efforts to end the war remained stalled, news agency Reuters reported.

Russia said Friday that it will fight until it “takes control over all east and south of Ukraine.” The country’s defence ministry said its forces had captured a large arms depot in the Kharkiv region. Ukraine's general staff said Russian forces had increased attacks along the whole frontline in the east of the country and were trying to mount an offensive in the Kharkiv region, north of the Donbas.

Nearly five million Ukrainians have fled the country, cities have been shattered and thousands have died since the start of the invasion on February 24.

Russia calls its action a special military operation to demilitarise Ukraine and eradicate what it calls “dangerous nationalists”. The West and Kyiv accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of unprovoked aggression.

(With inputs from news agencies)

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