Atrocities instead of talks
David Arakhamia, head of the Ukrainian delegation at the peace talks, said that the Russian side confirmed Kyiv’s thesis that the preliminary versions of the documents had been developed enough to conduct direct consultations between the presidents of Ukraine and Russia. He noted that Russian negotiators on Friday had agreed to all of Ukraine’s positions, except for its stance on Crimea. Volodymyr Zelenski said the negotiators are close to agreeing a non-nuclear, non-bloc and neutral status for Ukraine.
“The draft agreement is not ready for submission to a meeting at the top,” Russian chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said on Telegram. He noted that Ukraine had started to show a more realistic approach to peace talks.
The Ukrainian press published photos and videos of bodies with tied hands in Bucha. Human Rights Watch documented several cases of Russian military forces committing laws-of-war violations against civilians in occupied areas of the Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Kyiv regions of Ukraine.
Maia Sandu said: “We are shocked, together with the entire world, by the massacre in Bucha city near Kyiv. Moldova strongly condemns such crimes against humanity, as it condemns this illegal and unprovoked war waged by the Russian Federation against Ukraine”. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration formulated a similar stance.
April 4 in Moldova is a national day of mourning for the victims of the Russo-Ukrainian war.
The OSCE and UN Secretary General António Guterres called for independent probes of civilian deaths in Bucha. President Zelensky invited Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarcozy to visit the martyr-city Bucha and asked to examine Russia’s actions within the UN Security Council. Russia also requested the Council to convene as its Ministry of Defense denies the involvement of the Russian army in the crimes committed in Bucha.
Situation in Mariupol worse
The chief of staff of the Azov regiment, captain Bohdan Krotevich, said that the situation in the city is critical and up to 200,000 Ukrainians are under the rubble or in bomb shelters, under constant enemy shelling. “They have no food, water, electricity. We have no way to help them, because we are fighting fierce battles in the city. What is happening now in Mariupol is the genocide of the Ukrainian population,” Krotevich stressed.
Those who are reluctant to feed their own army shall feed a foreign army, Napoleon Bonapart
Moldova’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said there is no information to confirm the mobilization of Russian troops in Transnistria. Earlier, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said it assessed Russian troops in the Transnistria region were preparing to carry out “provocations” across the border.
Yury Butusov, editor-in chief of Cenzor.net, opined that Transnistria should be demilitarized with the forces of the Ukrainian army as “denazification and de-Russification is needed there”. “There is no doubt that only Ukraine can do this as no one else will assume responsibility,” he said, noting Moldova is not ready to neutralize the Russian enclave in its districts on the left side of the Nistru.
What do Americans want?
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that if the Ukrainians negotiate something that meets their needs, that preserves their sovereignty, their independence, the U.S. will back it.
“We’re in constant conversation with allies and partners about the most effective ways to tighten, to strengthen the sanctions, and at the same time, we’re very focused on making sure that Europe has the energy it needs not only to get through this year and this winter, which it has, but next year as well,” he stated.
Locals asked to leave
The head of the Donetsk OVA, Pavel Kirilenko, called on the locals to leave the region due to a possible military escalation. He stressed that there is a high probability that the situation in the region “will become more complicated: this is obvious.”
“Not only near the contact line, but to the entire population, we strongly recommend that they leave. We provide all the necessary transport along certain routes and clearly indicate how, which route they will take. The fewer people in this case, the easier it will be to protect territory. Because the enemy uses the very local population in order to achieve their audacious plans,” said Kirilenko.
Between words and deeds
The Ukrainian leader continued to urge the West to provide his country with heavier and faster equipment, such as warplanes and more anti-missile systems. He thanked the U.S. and the Biden administration for their support so far, but he said Ukraine needs security guarantees on paper.
“As a president, I’m not satisfied with just assurances,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview for CBS. He also urged Americans to continue helping his war-torn nation.
Georgia does not intend to join the economic and financial sanctions bandwagon led by the West against Russia over the Ukraine situation, said Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. According to him, joining the sanctions could harm the country and the population.