Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Russian troops in an online video early Tuesday that they can surrender and will be treated “decently” if they choose to do so.
“On behalf of the Ukrainian people, I give you a chance,” Zelenskyy said in a video translated into English by his office, ahead of his scheduled speech to Canada’s parliament on Tuesday. “Chance to survive. If you surrender to our forces, we will treat you the way people are supposed to be treated. As people, decently.”
Talks between Ukrainian and Russian delegations are expected to resume Tuesday, the president said. Monday’s talks were stopped for a “technical pause,” according to one of Zelenskyy’s advisors.
Meanwhile, a convoy of 160 civilian cars left the encircled port city of Mariupol along a designated humanitarian route, the city council reported, in a rare glimmer of hope a week and a half into the lethal siege that has pulverized homes and other buildings and left people desperate for food, water, heat and medicine.
Previous discussions, held in person in Belarus, produced no lasting humanitarian routes or agreements to end the fighting.
In Washington, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that while the Biden administration supports Ukraine’s participation in the talks with Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin would have to show signs of de-escalating in order to demonstrate good faith.
“And what we’re really looking for is evidence of that, and we’re not seeing any evidence at this point that President Putin is doing anything to stop the onslaught or de-escalate,” she said.
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► 636 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24, according to the UN human rights agency. The actual figures are likely much higher, the agency said.
► Russian forces abducted the mayor of Melitopol, Ukraine to Russian-occupied Luhansk, where he is being accused of “terrorism,” according to the Kyiv Independent, citing the Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration.
► A pregnant Ukrainian woman and her unborn child have died, days after images were seen around the world of her being rushed on a stretcher to an ambulance amid the devastation of a maternity hospital bombing in Mariupol. The images epitomized the horror of Russian attacks on innocent Ukrainian civilians.
► President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine sent his condolences to the family of Brent Renaud, the American journalist killed in Ukraine Sunday.
► At least 2.8 million Ukrainians have fled the country, the UN refugee agency said. About 1.7 million of them exited through Poland.
Biden could travel to Europe in coming weeks, reports say
The White House is considering for President Joe Biden to travel to Europe in support of Ukraine and allies in the coming weeks, according to multiple media reports.
The discussions have included considering Biden stopping in Brussels, home to NATO and the European Union, according to the reports from NBC News, Politico and Reuters. In addition, there are talks of Biden visiting Poland after a stop in Brussels, according to Reuters.
Biden has traveled abroad twice during his administration, both times in Europe. White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday would not confirm the president’s potential travel plans or preview what the trip may entail.
“There’s not been any final decision about a trip,” Psaki said. “So I don’t have anything to preview about what that would look like if you were to take a trip.”
— Rebecca Morin
Poland on edge as Russian airstrikes near border
KRAKOW, Poland — After a deadly Russian missile attack in Ukraine just 15 miles from the Polish border Sunday, some Poles are increasingly anxious – saving money, checking to see if their passports are up to date and making plans to flee if war spills over to their country.
“I said to my husband, ‘If only one bomb touches Polish ground, I will pack myself, pack my grandma, pack my mom, and we are going abroad,’” local artist Aga Gaj said.
But in private, some Poles are nervous following a Russian airstrike that killed 35 and injured at least 100 at a military base where Americans had trained Ukrainian forces before the war. The United States and NATO have regularly sent instructors to the base, known as the International Peacekeeping and Security Center. Just weeks before the war began, Florida National Guard members trained there. Read more here.
— Katelyn Ferral, USA TODAY Network
Chinese diplomat urges restraint, peace talks in meeting with the US
Yang Jiechi, one of China’s top diplomats, said he called on the international community to support peace talks between Russia and Ukraine during his meeting with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Monday.
In a statement published by the Chinese state news agency Xinhua, Yang said China is committed to promoting peace talks and abiding by the principles of the UN Charter.
“China always stands for respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries,” the statement read.
Sullivan told Chinese officials Monday the US is concerned about any potential support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the state department.
Spokesman Ned Price said declined to confirm whether US officials believe Beijing has conveyed its support for Moscow’s assault on Ukraine but said the US is watching very closely whether China or any other country is providing any form of support including material, economic or financial assistance.
— Celina Tebor
Contributing: The Associated Press