Ukraine and Russia started their second round of talks today in Belarus, agreeing on evacuation corridors for civilians. The Russian invasion of Ukraine entered its eighth day on Thursday, with the UN estimated that it has already claimed the lives of 227 civilians.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Moscow’s advance in Ukraine is going “according to plan” and ordered large compensations for Russian soldiers killed in the invasion.
“I want to say that the special military operation is going strictly according to schedule, according to plan,” he said, opening a meeting with his security council. “We are at war with neo-Nazis,” the Russian leader said, adding: “I will never give up on my conviction that Russians and Ukrainians are one people.”
Ukrainian negotiators at talks with Russian officials on Thursday demanded a ceasefire and humanitarian corridors to evacuate besieged citizens as Moscow’s invasion forces surrounded and bombarded Ukrainian cities.
Earlier, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had said that Moscow is ready for talks to end the fighting in Ukraine but will continue to press its effort to destroy Ukraine’s military infrastructure.
(With inputs from agencies)