United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday he launched an initiative to explore the possibility of “a humanitarian cease-fire in Ukraine,” echoing Ukraine’s calls, as Russia’s invasion into the country entered its second month.
Guterres said he asked Undersecretary-General Martin Griffiths, the head of the U.N.’s worldwide humanitarian operations, to look into a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine.
Ukrainian news outlet Suspline News reported Monday that Ukrainian officials were hoping to agree to a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine during in-person negotiations this week in Turkey. The cease-fire would allow for aid delivery to Ukraine and pave the way for political negotiations to end the war, Guterres said.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces retook Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, from Russian troops, who were regrouping to take the area back, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Monday as he sought to rally the country.
“We still have to fight, we have to endure,” Zelenskyy said in his nighttime video address to the nation. “We can’t express our emotions now. We can’t raise expectations, simply so that we don’t burn out.”
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► President Joe Biden said Monday he was voicing his ‘moral outrage,’ not a U.S. policy change, with his remark last weekend that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.”
►Russian troops have paused ground advances toward the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and appear to have refocused in eastern Ukraine, a senior U.S. Defense official said.
►Asian shares were mostly higher Tuesday in muted trading ahead of another round of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. Crude oil prices fell further after sinking 7% on Monday.
►The Pentagon is sending six Navy jets that specialize in suppressing enemy air defense to bolster NATO’s eastern flank, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Monday.
►Just one month since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than 3.8 million refugees have been forced to flee the country, making this the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II, according to the United Nations refugee agency.
Cyberattack hits Ukraine’s national telecommunications provider
A “massive” cyberattack knocked Ukraine’s national telecommunications provider Ukrtelecom almost completely offline Monday morning, with outages persisting into the evening.
Network monitors said it was the most severe outage since Russia invaded Ukraine over a month ago. Most Ukrainian customers were cut off from service so Ukraine’s military could continue using it, the chair of Ukraine’s state service for special communication, Yurii Shchyhol, said.
Shchyhol blamed “the enemy” for the cyberattack, refraining from specifically naming Russia.
— Celina Tebor
Many in Mideast see hypocrisy in Western embrace of Ukraine
Within days of the Russian invasion, Western countries invoked international law, imposed crippling sanctions, began welcoming refugees with open arms and cheered on Ukraine’s armed resistance.
The response has elicited outrage across the Middle East, where many see a glaring double standard in how the West responds to international conflicts.
“We have seen every means we were told could not be activated for over 70 years deployed in less than seven days,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki told a security forum in Turkey earlier this month.
“Amazing hypocrisy,” he added.
The Biden administration said Wednesday the United States has assessed that Russian forces committed war crimes in Ukraine and would work with others to prosecute offenders. But the U.S. is not a member of the International Criminal Court and staunchly opposes any international probe of its own conduct or of its ally, Israel.
— The Associated Press
Contributing: The Associated Press