Russia-Ukraine live: Putin, Xi discussed peace proposal – Kremlin
- Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are set to hold further talks in Moscow, with the Chinese president on a state visit amid the Ukraine war.
- The two leaders have already held a “thorough” exchange of views and discussed China’s peace plan for Ukraine, the Kremlin said.
Ukrainian forces have repelled Russian attempts to advance into Bakhmut: General
Ukrainian forces have repelled Russian attempts to advance into the centre of Bakhmut, a top Ukrainian general said.
“Assault groups of the enemy are trying to advance from the outskirts to the centre of the city, but our defence forces are working and destroying them 24/7,” Oleksandr Syrskyi, the Commander of Ukrainian Ground Forces, wrote on Telegram.
Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said no one had believed Bakhmut would hold out under such intense attacks for so long.
“… the defense of Bakhmut is holding and the possibilities are not yet exhausted,” Malyar said.
Russia has made the capture of Bakhmut a priority in its strategy; if Russian forces capture Bakhmut, it will be Moscow’s first significant territorial gain after months of military losses.
Zelenskyy thanks EU for ammunition deal
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised the European Union’s approval to speed up ammunition production for Ukraine and set up a two billion euro ($2,150bn) plan to send a million artillery rounds to Kyiv over the next year.
On Telegram, the president wrote: “Our European partners have agreed on a joint plan to accelerate the supply of shells for our artillery. This decision is worth two billion euros. It provides for both emergency supply and production of ammunition.
“This is a strategic step. It gives us confidence in our unity, in the immutability of the movement towards victory over the terrorist state. I am thankful to all our partners in Europe! To everyone who is truly interested in making Europe strong and free.”
Zelesnkyy also thanked the United States for announcing a new defence package worth $350 million to help Ukraine with its war efforts.
Russia summons Canada’s charge d’affaires over ‘Russophobic’ statment
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it had protested to Canada’s top diplomat in Moscow over comments by Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly about “regime change” in Russia.
On Monday, the ministry summoned the Canadian charge d’affaires Brian Ebel and told him Joly’s comments were unacceptable.
Canadian media quoted Joly as saying on March 10: “We’re able to see how much we’re isolating the Russian regime right now — because we need to do so economically, politically and diplomatically — and what are the impacts also on society and how much we’re seeing potential regime change in Russia.”
Russia condemned what they said was a “Russophobic attack” and said it would have severe consequences for relations.
The statement added that Moscow reserved the right to take “appropriate countermeasures” depending on Ottawa’s further steps.
Putin, Xi discussed Beijing’s peace plan during talks
The Kremlin said that Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping had held a “thorough” exchange of views during their first day of talks and had discussed Beijing’s peace plan.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to give further details, telling reporters to wait for a joint statement later on Tuesday.
“There was a very thorough exchange of views, a serious conversation in the informal part,” he said, referring to Monday’s meeting.
Peskov said the two leaders discussed China’s peace proposal but again declined to elaborate.
Putin said on Monday he had carefully studied China’s ideas, viewed them with respect and would discuss them with Xi.
Japan’s Kishida to visit Kyiv
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will visit Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Japan’s foreign ministry said.
The Japanese prime minister will voice support and solidarity with Ukraine following the invasion by Russian forces, the ministry said in a statement.
Kishida will convey “his respect for the courage and perseverance of the Ukrainian people standing up to defend their homeland,” it added.
Eastern Orthodox Church leader mulls establishing base in Lithuania
The leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church said he would work with Lithuania’s government to potentially establish a new branch to ensure that followers would no longer be under the sole supervision of Moscow.
“Today a new perspective opens before us along with the possibility to work together for the establishment of (a branch) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (of Constantinople) in Lithuania,” Patriarch Bartholomew told reporters in Vilnius.
Lithuania’s government said some of the country’s Orthodox believers, including Ukrainian refugees, object to the current organisation, which is a unit of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Ukraine says Russian cruise missiles hit, denies responsibility for ‘mysterious’ incident
On Monday night, Ukraine’s defence ministry said that an explosion in Dzhankoi in the north of the Crimean peninsula destroyed Russian cruise missiles, but denied responsibility for the “mysterious” incident.
A statement by the intelligence directorate of Ukraine’s Defence Ministry said: “An explosion in Dzhankoi city in the north of temporarily occupied Crimea destroyed Russian Kalibr-KN cruise missiles as they were being transported by rail”.
Ihor Ivin, the Russian-installed head of the Dzhankoi administration, was quoted as saying the city had come under attack from drones and a 33-year-old man suffered a shrapnel injury from a downed drone. The man was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive, he said.
Xi invites Putin and Mishustin to visit China
Chinese President Xi Jinping has invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to visit China in 2023, the TASS news agency reported.
According to TASS, Xi said during a meeting with Mishustin, “Yesterday, I invited President Putin to visit China at a convenient time for him this year, since this year China will host the third international forum within the framework of the One Belt, One Road. President Putin took part in the previous two forums.”
“I invite you to pay a visit to China as soon as possible to establish close ties with the new premier of the State Council, Li Qiang,” he added.
Putin, Xi to hold further talks on Tuesday
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are due to hold further talks on Tuesday amid Western criticism that Xi’s visit was giving a boost to Moscow.
The two men, who referred to each other as “dear friend”, spoke for more than four hours on Monday and enjoyed a state dinner at the Kremlin.
China has sought to cast itself as a potential peace-maker in the Ukraine conflict with plans to speak to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy by phone.
“We are waiting for confirmation,” Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
“That would be an important move. They have things to say to each other.”
But the visit has been criticised by Western powers, with Washington saying on Monday that the visit, which underscored the close relationship between Beijing and Moscow, was providing “diplomatic cover” for Putin.