Ukraine’s Zelenskiy says Russia talks are tough, sometimes confrontational

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday said peace talks with Russia to end the month-long conflict were tough and sometimes confrontational, but added “step by step we are moving forward.”

In an early morning video address, Zelenskiy also said 100 000 people were living in the besieged city of Mariupol in inhuman conditions, without food, water or medicine.

Although Russian and Ukrainian negotiators have been talking regularly, both sides say any deal is far off.

“We are continuing to work at different levels to encourage Russia to move towards peace … Ukrainian representatives are participating in talks that are taking place virtually everyday. It’s very difficult, sometimes confrontational,” said Zelenskiy. “But step by step we are moving forward.”

He also accused Russian forces attacking Mariupol of thwarting attempts to evacuate civilians from the city.

“As of today, there are about 100 000 people in the city in inhuman conditions, completely blockaded, without food, without water, without medicines, subject to constant shelling, constant bombardment,” he said.

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