Russia, Ukraine agree on need to create humanitarian corridors

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators have made limited progress at ceasefire talks, agreeing on the need for humanitarian corridors for civilians.

A senior Ukrainian official said that despite this outcome, the talks had not led to the results Kyiv was hoping for.

They came as Russian President Vladimir Putin defended the invasion of Ukraine, saying it was “going to plan”.

But a humanitarian crisis has been growing in Ukrainian cities under intense Russian bombardment.

Putin also spoke by phone for 90 minutes to French President Emmanuel Macron.

An aide to Macron told reporters the French president expected that the worst was still to come, after Putin told him Russia would continue its campaign in Ukraine until it had fulfilled its goals.

Macron told his Russian counterpart the invasion was a serious mistake, and that his views did not correspond with reality.

At talks from an undisclosed location, the second this week, Russian and Ukrainian delegates agreed to possible temporary ceasefires.

But the truces would only be in places where humanitarian corridors were being set up and for the duration of civilian evacuations, Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said.

“To our great regret, we did not get the results we were counting on,” he added.

Several Ukrainian cities are currently surrounded or almost surrounded by Russian forces.

The situation is particularly intense in the southern port city of Mariupol, which has been under relentless bombardment with almost no respite for several days.

Hundreds of people are feared dead in the city. (BBC)

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