The mayor of Kyiv asked European politicians to cut off all commercial ties with Moscow, saying all payments it gave to Russia was â€œbloody moneyâ€ and fuelling its army, Reuters reports.
â€œEvery euro, every cent that you receive from Russia or that you send to Russia has blood, it is bloody money and the blood of this money is Ukrainian blood, the blood of Ukrainian people,â€ Vitali Klitschko said via video link to a mayorsâ€™ conference in Geneva.
In the same speech, he described the â€œgenocide of Ukrainiansâ€ following a visit to Kyivâ€™s satellite towns like Bucha this week. He described seeing dead civilians, including an old woman, and a car with a white flag and the letters â€œchildrenâ€ on the outside that was shot up and had blood inside.
He also made claims â€“ that have not been independently verified â€“ that almost 20,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in Ukraine, and that the mayor of Mariupol had informed him that 5,000 civilians had been killed in the besieged city.
A quick snap from Reuters here that Denmark is to expel 15 fifteen Russian diplomats, the latest in a series of similar moves across Europe. Russia has already said that it will retaliate.
Here is the latest from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on developments with their team who were trying to provide relief and an evacuation route to the besieged southern city of Mariupol. A spokesperson has told the Guardian:
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team that was held by police in Manhush on Monday was released last night. This is of great relief to us and to their families. The team is focused now on continuing the humanitarian evacuation operation. This incident yesterday shows how volatile and complex the operation to facilitate safe passage around Mariupol has been for our team, who have been trying to reach the city since Friday.
Seven humanitarian corridors to be opened in Ukraine today
Ukraineâ€™s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said there will be an attempt to open seven humanitarian corridors today. The routes will be in the Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions, all of which are in the east of the country.
A few more points from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiyâ€™s domestic TV address being reported by Reuters here:
The killings in Bucha showed the phrase â€˜needing Denazificationâ€™ â€“ which Russiaâ€™s President Putin has frequently cited to justify aggression in Ukraine â€“ applies more to Russia than to Ukraine.
Russia could â€˜returnâ€™ in two years unless Ukraine is given adequate security guarantees.
Citing Donbas, he said Ukraine and Russia will not be able to agree on all points at once but should work on it.
Elsewhere, Interfax has reported that talks between Ukraine and Russia continue via videolink.
One of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putinâ€™s closest allies said claims that Russian forces executed civilians in Bucha were fake products of Ukrainian and Western propaganda aimed at discrediting Russia.
â€œThese are fakes that matured in the cynical imagination of Ukrainian propaganda,â€ Dmitry Medvedev, who served as president from 2008 to 2012 and is now deputy secretary of Russiaâ€™s Security Council, said.
â€œThey were concocted for vast amounts of money,â€ Reuters quotes Medevedev saying.
Earlier Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower house of parliament in Russia said: â€œThe situation in Bucha is a provocation aimed at discrediting Russia. Washington and Brussels are the screenwriters and directors and Kyiv are the actors. There are no facts – just lies.â€
Neither man provided any evidence to back up their claims.
Zelenskiy: possible there will be no meeting with Putin
Ukraineâ€™s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been speaking on Ukrainian TV in an address to the people. Reuters has reported the following key lines so far:
It is possible there will be no meeting with him and Russiaâ€™s President Vladimir Putin.
The question is not whether there will be negotiations, but how strong you are at the negotiating table.
Ukraine will search for possible war criminals, and prosecutors in other countries will deal with them.
Red Cross team released after being held during attempt to evacuate Mariupol
A team from the International Committee of the Red Cross has been released after being stopped during an attempt to reach the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol and held in nearby Manhush, Ukrainian deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said.
â€œAfter negotiations, they were released during the night and sent to Zaporizhzhia,â€ Reuters quotes her saying. Zaporizhzhia is about 200km away from Mariupol in the south of the country.
Franceâ€™s European affairs minister Clement Beaune has told RFI radio that the European Union will most likely adopt a new round of sanctions against Russia on Wednesday.
Reuters quotes him saying â€œThe new sanctions will probably be adopted tomorrowâ€, adding the EU should also quickly act on gas and coal imports from Russia.
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