May 29, 2022

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A US defense official says direct attacks and a destroyed bridge have slowed the advance of the Russian convoy towards Kyiv

The adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office said on Friday that the Ukrainian delegation participating in talks with Russia “understands the motives” of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, adding that while the Ukrainian side “understands where [Russia] Wants to go ”, will not make concessions on the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Speaking during a press conference in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, Mikhailo Podolak said Ukraine’s position is being “reinforced” by Western partners, adding that President Volodymyr Zelensky “will certainly not make any concessions that would undermine our territorial integrity and freedom.”

“The position of the Russian Federation is harsh – if it was easy, they would not attack Ukraine – but the position of the head of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is also harsh. Negotiations are difficult, but they are taking place,” Podolak added.

The press conference comes a day after the second round of talks between the Ukrainian and Russian delegations in Belarus. In a tweet on Thursday, Podolak said the talks did not lead to the results Ukraine was seeking, although the delegations were able to come up with “a solution only to organize the humanitarian corridors.”

Speaking on Friday, David Arachhamia – a senior official in Ukraine’s ruling party who was also involved in the talks – said Zelensky had not made a formal request for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that it was still “too early” and that further negotiations were there. need before they speak.

Arachhamiya also noted that Russia is facing increasing “pressure” from the broader international community over attacks by Russian forces on civilian areas in Ukraine.

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After pressing Russia’s attack on the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, Arachmia said Ukrainian negotiators had proposed a 30-kilometre conflict-free zone around all of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities during Thursday’s talks, “and then the Zab happened immediately.”