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LIVE: Ukraine's prez says he will not accept Russian ultimatums to end war

Zelensky said on Monday Ukraine would never bow to ultimatums from Russia and cities such as Kyiv, Mariupol or Kharkiv would not accept Russian occupation

Image BS Web Team New Delhi
Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (Photo: AP/PTI)

Live news updates: The Russian military has offered the Ukrainian troops defending the strategic port of Mariupol to lay down arms and exit the city via humanitarian corridors, but that proposal was quickly rejected by the Ukrainian authorities.

Ukrainian authorities said Sunday that Russia's military bombed an art school sheltering some 400 people in the port city of Mariupol, where heavy street fighting was underway weeks into a devastating Russian siege.

The fall of Mariupol would allow Russian forces in southern and eastern Ukraine to link up. But Western military analysts say that even if the surrounded city is taken, the troops battling for control there a block at a time may be too depleted to help secure Russian breakthroughs on other fronts, the AP reported.

Menawhile, US President Joe Biden has added a stop in Poland to his upcoming trip to Europe for urgent talks with Nato and European allies.
Biden, who leaves Washington on Wednesday, will first travel to Brussels and then Poland.

Back home, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration has made plans to evacuate residents from low-lying areas and the Army has also put its ships and relief teams on standby as the archipelago experienced heavy rain and strong winds due to Cyclone Asani.

People living by the coast coastal in the islands were evacuated to safety on Sunday. Inter-island shipping services and those with Chennai and Visakhapatnam have been stopped and fishermen warned not to venture into the sea as the year's first cyclonic storm neared the archipelago, news agency PTI reported.
11:28 PM

Ukrainian governor says shells hit evacuation buses, 4 children wounded

The governor of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia region said buses evacuating civilians from front line areas were hit by shelling on Monday and four children were wounded in separate incidents.
 
Reuters could not confirm the report independently. Russia denies targeting civilians.
 
"Four children were taken to hospital," Oleksandr Starukh said in an online post. He blamed Russian forces.
10:24 PM

Russia says it hit Kyiv shopping centre because it was storing rockets

Russia said on Monday it had struck a Kyiv shopping centre with high-precision long-range weapons because it was being used as a rocket store and reloading station by Ukrainian forces.
 
The Kyiv shopping centre was attacked late on Sunday, killing at least eight people, wrecking nearby buildings and leaving smoking piles of rubble and the twisted wreckage of burned-out cars spread over several hundred metres.
 
"The areas near the shopping centre were used as a large base for storing rocket munitions and for reloading multiple rocket launchers," Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters.
10:22 PM

Ukraine's president says he will not accept Russian ultimatums to end war

President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday Ukraine would never bow to ultimatums from Russia and cities such as Kyiv, Mariupol or Kharkiv would not accept Russian occupation.
 
"We have an ultimatum with points in it. 'Follow it and then we will end the war'," Zelensky said in an interview published by Ukrainian public broadcasting company Suspilne. "Ukraine cannot fulfill the ultimatum."
9:48 PM

Kyiv mayor says stricter curfew imposed due to shelling threat

The mayor of Kyiv said on Monday a new, longer curfew was being introduced in the Ukrainian capital because the authorities expect further shelling by Russian forces.
 
Mayor Vitali Klitschko had earlier on Monday announced a "reinforced curfew" in the Ukrainian capital from 8.00 p.m. (1800 GMT) until 7 a.m. on Wednesday. Parts of the city have come under fire repeatedly from Russian forces.
 
"The reason for the curfew is linked to the likelihood of new shelling," he said later on Monday on national television.
8:08 PM

Ukraine's defence minister says Russia's actions are state terrorism

Russia is conducting state terrorism in Ukraine and will go on to attack other countries, Ukraine's defence minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Monday.
 
Speaking alongside British defence minister Ben Wallace during a visit to London, Reznikov said 150 Ukrainian children had been killed since Russia invaded, with more than 400 schools and kindergartens and more than 110 hospitals destroyed.
 
"This is a state terrorism. That is why (the) Kremlin must be stopped, because it will go further. It will attack other countries," Reznikov said. He did not cite any evidence to support his assertion. Russia denies targeting civilians.
8:08 PM

US cannot confirm Russian claim on hypersonic missile: US defense official

The United States cannot independently confirm or refute a Russian claim over the weekend that it fired hypersonic missiles at a Ukrainian target, but the use of such a weapon makes little sense from a military perspective, a senior U.S. defense official said on Monday.
 
"It could be that they're trying to send a message to the West," the official said on condition of anonymity. From a military perspective, the official added, "there's just not a lot of practicality about it."
7:39 PM

Russian court rejects Meta attempt to dismiss 'extremism' case: Reports

A Moscow court on Monday rejected an attempt by Facebook owner Meta Platforms to have extremism charges against it dismissed, Russian news agencies reported, in a case that could force the U.S. tech giant out of the Russian market.
 
The TASS news agency earlier reported that Meta had asked for more time to prepare its legal position and had questioned the court's authority to ban its activities at the request of state prosecutors.
 
Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
 
The company's lawyer, Victoria Shagina, said in court that Meta was not carrying out extremist activities and stood against Russophobia, Interfax reported.
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6:15 PM

White House briefs energy, food, financial companies on Ukraine: Official

The White House will hold a briefing on the Russia-Ukraine crisis on Monday with executives from an array of industries and businesses including oil, food, manufacturing, clean energy and banking, a White House official said.
6:15 PM

UK PM Johnson won't retract Brexit comment on Ukraine, spokesman says

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not directly compare the war in Ukraine with Brexit and will not retract comments made during a speech on Saturday that drew criticism, his spokesman said on Monday.
 
Johnson on Saturday said it was the instinct of British people, like Ukrainians, to choose freedom every time, citing the vote to leave the European Union as an example of that.
 
"There was not a direct comparison made between fighting in Ukraine (and Brexit) ... they're not directly analogous. He was making observations about people's desire for freedom," the spokesman said.
 
The spokesman said Johnson did not regret his phrasing and wouldn't retract the comment.
6:06 PM

Ukraine and Russia hold more peace talks

Russian and Ukrainian peace negotiators held a 90-minute video call on Monday and working groups will continue to meet throughout the day, a member of the Ukrainian delegation said.
 
"Today we are working the whole day," Ukrainian delegate and lawmaker David Arakhamia was quoted as saying by Ukrainian media.
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First Published: Mar 21 2022 | 6:30 AM IST

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