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Russia says ‘some progress’ being made in talks

MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia said yesterday that negotiations with Kyiv to resolve the Ukraine conflict were making headway and underscored that Moscow’s troops were not working to topple the Ukrainian government.

“Some progress has been made,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a press briefing, referring to three rounds of talks with Kyiv. Ukraine and Russia officials have been meeting on the Belarus-Poland border for talks to end fighting.

Dead bodies are placed into a mass grave on the outskirts of Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, as people cannot bury their dead because of the heavy shelling by Russian forces. AP

Zakharova said another round of talks will be focussed on humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians. She also said Moscow does not intend to occupy Ukraine or overthrow its government. The army’s aim is “not to occupy Ukraine, or the destruction of its statehood, or the overthrow of the government. It is not directed against the civilian population”, Zakharova said.

Since Russian troops went in on February 24, they have advanced into the country and shelled Ukraine’s main cities, forcing thousands to flee.

Moscow said it was not targetting civilian areas, despite widespread evidence otherwise.

Zakharova during the briefing accused Kyiv authorities of blocking efforts to evacuate civilians.


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