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Russia invades Ukraine, Zelensky insists on sovereignty in talks

Ukraine has slowed some of Russia’s advances, but multiple cities are being hit with missiles, a presidential adviser said. Russian forces continued missile strikes across Ukraine Sunday evening, including the cities of Lutsk, Kharkiv, Zhytomyr and Rivne, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, while shelling has been reported around the outskirts of Kyiv.

Meanwhile, Zelensky said he is ready to accept a neutral, non-nuclear status as part of a peace deal with Russia.

Here are the latest developments:

Russian forces attempting ‘corridor’ around Kyiv, officials say: Ukraine’s deputy defense minister said Monday that Russian forces were attempting to establish a “corridor” around the Ukrainian capital to block supply routes, amid continued fighting around Kyiv’s suburbs.

Russian strikes continue: Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhail Podoliak said the cities of Lutsk, Kharkiv, Zhytomyr and Rivne were among the locations hit by Russian missiles on Sunday. “More and more missiles every day. Mariupol under the ‘carpet’ bombing,” he said. “Russia no longer has a language, humanism, civilization. Only missiles, bombs and attempts to wipe Ukraine off the face of the earth.” A loud explosion followed by sirens were also heard in Kyiv early Monday, according to CNN teams on the ground.

Most Russian gains in Mariupol area are in the south: Most of Russia’s military gains near the port city of Mariupol are in the southern areas, according to the UK’s latest intelligence update. Further to its report, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said there was “no significant change to Russian Forces dispositions in occupied Ukraine.”

Kremlin concerned by Biden’s remarks: The Kremlin is concerned by US President Joe Biden’s comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday, adding that Biden’s comments would continue to be monitored. Biden said on Saturday that Putin “cannot remain in power.” Biden and White House officials later sought to walk back and clarify the President’s comments, adding that he was not calling for regime change in Russia.

Peace talks will resume Tuesday: Russia-Ukraine negotiations are set to resume in-person in Istanbul, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday. Zelensky said in a video posted to social media that peace and the restoration of normal life are the “obvious” goals of Ukraine. “Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are beyond doubt. Effective security guarantees for our state are mandatory,” he said. Zelensky also told journalists Sunday that a neutral, non-nuclear status for Ukraine in the form of a “serious treaty” was acceptable as part of a deal with Russia, but any agreement would have to be put to a referendum.

Ukraine promises “immediate investigation” after video surfaces: An almost six-minute-long video shows what appear to be Ukrainian soldiers shooting men who are apparently Russian prisoners in the knees during an operation in the Kharkiv region. Asked about the video, a senior presidential advisor, Oleksiy Arestovych, said: “The government is taking this very seriously, and there will be an immediate investigation. We are a European army, and we do not mock our prisoners. If this turns out to be real, this is absolutely unacceptable behavior.” CNN is not showing the video.

Putin eyeing “Korean scenario”: Ukraine’s military intelligence head said Putin could be looking to carve Ukraine in two – like North and South Korea. Brig. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov said Russia’s operations around Kyiv had failed and it was now impossible for the Russian army to overthrow the Ukrainian government. Putin’s war was now focused on the south and the east of the country, he said. “[Russian forces] will try to impose a dividing line between the unoccupied and occupied regions of our country. In fact, it is an attempt to create North and South Korea in Ukraine,” he said.

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