Ukraine war live: Peace talks continue as Zelenskyy calls for referendum on neutrality

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Ukraine war live: Peace talks continue as Zelenskyy calls for referendum on neutrality

A Ukrainian serviceman stands in a street in Lukyanivka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, Sunday, March 27, 2022.   —  

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues into its second month with more than ten million Ukrainians displaced from their homes as fighting continues. Thousands of civilians and military personnel have been killed in the fighting, which has left widespread devastation in many parts of Ukraine.

Follow the latest updates in our live blog, or watch Euronews live on the link above.

07:00President Zelenskyy says Ukraine could hold a referendum on NATO and neutrality, but what do you think?06:29

Monday: Key points to know

    Negotiators from Ukraine and Russia are set to meet for another round of peace talks in Turkey today.Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told journalists there should be a referendum on whether his country should be neutral and stay out of NATO after Russian troops withdraw.At the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, attendees expressed support for Ukraine by falling silent for 30 seconds. Some arrived wearing blue-and-gold ribbons, the colors of the Ukrainian flag. French President Emmanuel Macron has warned against an «escalation» of the war after comments made by US President Joe Biden.The White House insists Joe Biden isn’t seeking regime change in Russia, after he gave a speech in Poland saying Vladimir Putin «cannot remain in power.» France, Turkey and Greece hope to carry out a humanitarian operation to evacuate people from the besieged city of Mariupol in the next few days after local authorities there said people are starving.


EU team to probe Ukraine war crimes

The EU’s agency for criminal justice cooperation, Eurojust, is supporting the setting up of a joint team between Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine to probe alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine.

The agency said the three nations signed an agreement to create the team on Friday.

The aim of the team is «to support the gathering of evidence and its swift and secure exchange between partners, as well as the transmission of information and evidence.»

Eurojust will support the process by providing legal and financial assistance to the team’s parties. The team will also cooperate with the International Criminal Court, ensuring an exchange of information.


Kremlin calls Biden’s comments on Putin ‘alarming’

The Kremlin on Monday denounced the «alarming» comments of US President Joe Biden who called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a «butcher», in the midst of a Russian offensive in Ukraine.

«This statement is undoubtedly alarming,» Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, stressing that Moscow would continue to follow the US president’s remarks «very carefully».

Biden’s comments came in response to a question as he visited a refugee centre in Poland on Sunday. Biden later that evening said: «For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.» Aides quickly clarified that Biden wasn’t calling for regime change in Moscow.



United Nations updates civilian death tolls in Ukraine

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has issued a new estimate of civilian deaths in Ukraine since Russian forces launched an invasion on 24 February.

UNHCR now says it has recorded 1,119 civilian deaths and 1,790 injured civilians during that time.

According to the agency most casualties were caused by use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes. It said it believes actual figures are “considerably higher,” given delays in obtaining information and in corroborating the reports.

Of those killed, 224 were men, 168 women, 15 girls and 32 boys. The sex of another 52 children and 628 adults has not yet been determined.

The report said allegations of many civilian casualties in the besieged southern city of Mariupol and in Volnovakha, Izium, Popasna, Rubizhne and Trostianets were still being corroborated and are not included in the latest totals.


End of the line for last EU-Russia train service

It’s the end of the line for train services between the EU and Russia, with the last high speed Allegro service from St. Petersburg to Helsinki arriving at the Finnish capital at 7:07pm on Sunday night. 

Read more at our story here:

Ukraine war live: Peace talks continue as Zelenskyy calls for referendum on neutrality

End of the line in Finland for last direct EU-Russia train link


Heineken announces exit from Russia market

Dutch brewer Heineken says it will be leaving the Russian market, where it has 1,800 employees.

The announcement came on Monday morning with the company citing the war in Ukraine, which it says continues «to unfold and intensify.»

«Heineken’s ownership of the business in Russia is no longer sustainable or viable in the current environment. Accordingly, we have decided to exit Russia,» the world’s second-largest brewer said in a statement. 

Hundreds of Western companies have stopped doing business with Russia either due to sanctions or because they decided it was untenable to continue their operations after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

But for some companies the situation is not always black and white — as you can read in our story here. 

Ukraine war live: Peace talks continue as Zelenskyy calls for referendum on neutrality

File picture of Heineken beer — AP Photos08:02

German chancellor interested in Israel-style «Iron Dome» missile shield

Germany is considering the acquisition of an Israeli missile defence shield, similar to Israel’s «Iron Dome» system.

Chancellor Scholz said in a Sunday night interview it was «definitely one of the things we are discussing, and for good reason» as part of it’s €100 billion military spending plans, which were announced after Russia invaded Ukraine. 

«We need to protect ourselves better against the Russian threat. For that, we need a Germany-wide anti-missile shield quickly,» said Andreas Schwarz, the Bundestag’s defence budget rapporteur and also a member of the chancellor’s Social Democratic Party.

According to Bild, the system, inspired by the Israeli «Iron Dome», would cost around 2 billion euros and could be operational as early as 2025 from three sites in Germany.

Read more about Germany’s €100 billion military spending plans in our story here. 


Russian military plagued by ‘lack of momentum and morale’

The British Ministry of Defence released their latest military assessment of the war in Ukraine early Monday morning. 

It says there hasn’t been much change in the position of Russian forces in the last 24 hours, but that they’re facing ongoing logistical problems «compounded by a lack of momentum and morale» as well as «aggressive fighting» from Ukrainian forces.

Read more at their Twitter thread here:



Mariupol: ‘Russia is turning the city to dust’

Ukraine’s foreign ministry has described the situation in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol as «catastrophic.»

The city has been under constant Russian bombardment for weeks, and while many people have managed to flee there are still thought to be tens of thousands of people trapped in the city. 

«Russian Armed Forces is turning the city into dust» the ministry wrote on Twitter early Monday morning, sharing pictures of the devastation.


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