Big explosions heard in Kiev as Russia and Ukraine prepare to resume peace talks

Big explosions were heard in the capital of Ukraine Kiev Tuesday morning as Russia and Ukraine prepared resume negotiations to end the war.

On the 20th day of Russia’s invasion, reports suggested that at least two apartment blocks in the capital were set on fire following a Russian missile strike in the early hours.

A fire in a 10-storey residential building has been extinguished, Ukraine’s state emergency services said in a Facebook post.

One person has reportedly been injured and taken to hospital as a result of the attack.

It happens a day after two people died and three were injured then Russian forces shelled a nine-story apartment block in the Obolon district of Kiev.

A woman cries after being rescued from her apartment building hit by shelling in Kiev, Ukraine, on March 15 (Photo: Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Others were seen evacuating the building with their pets and belongings (Photo: Thomas Peter / Reuters)

In a intelligence updateThe British Ministry of Defense (MoD) said it had been reported that Russian forces had fired warning shots at protesters as demonstrations broke out in occupied territories of Ukraine.

“Reporting suggests that Russia may try to hold a ‘referendum’ in Kherson in an attempt to legitimize the area as a ‘breakaway republic’ similar to Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea, “said MoD.

It added that Russia has allegedly installed its own mayor in the city of Melitpol following the alleged abduction of his predecessor on Friday.

Ahead of new peace talks today, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky urged disillusioned Russian troops to surrender and warned that their “lives will be taken” if they continue to fight.

“I know you want to survive. We hear your conversations in the wiretaps, we hear what you really think about this senseless war,” he continued during last night’s speech.

Rescue workers continued to put out the flames in a residential building damaged by shelling Tuesday morning (State Emergency Service of Ukraine / Reuters)
Despite the continued bombing of Kiev, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that peace talks with Russia had gone “pretty well” (Photo: Felipe Dana / AP)

“On behalf of the Ukrainian people, I give you a chance. Opportunity to survive.

“If you surrender to our forces, we will treat you as people are supposed to be treated. As humans, decent. In a way, you were not treated in your army, and in a way, your army does not treat ours.”

Zelensky said negotiations between dealers from both countries on Monday had gone “pretty well”.

According to Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak, discussions today are set to focus on achieving a ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops.

Meanwhile, a government adviser has claimed that the war could be over in less than two months if Russia runs out of military resources.

Oleksiy Arestovich, adviser to Mr Zelensky’s chief of staff, said on Monday: “I think we should have a peace agreement by May, early May.”

More about Ukraine

During his update to the nation yesterday, the Ukrainian president appeared to be speaking a woman who ran into a Russian TV news broadcast with an anti-war sign hours earlier.

The woman, who has been named as Marina Ovsyannikova by an editor on Channel 1, is believed to be in police custody.

Before the broadcast was interrupted, she held up a sign behind a presenter saying, “No war, stop the war, do not believe the propaganda, they are lying to you here.”

Sir. Zelensky said: “I am grateful for the Russians who do not stop trying to convey the truth. To those who fight disinformation and tell the truth, real facts to their friends and loved ones.”

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