Ukraine: Belarusian troops show destroyed Russian equipment
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Mr Biden has snapped at a reporter during a press conference that focused on the comments the US President made in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At the press conference, he slammed Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine as “outrageous.” The US President had earlier stated that the Russian leader should be removed from power, sparking concern over possible American actions.
Asked to clarify his remarks by a reporter, Mr Biden said: “Nobody believes I was talking about taking down Putin.
“Nobody would believe that. Number one.
“Number two, what have I been talking about since this all began? The only war that’s worse than one intended is one that’s unintended.
“The last thing I want to do is engage in a land war or nuclear war with Russia that’s not part of it. I was expressing my outrage at the behaviour of this man, it’s outrageous.”
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Meanwhile, in Ukraine, Russian forces have kept up pressure in the southeast near separatist areas, including the devastating siege of Mariupol.
Mayor Vadym Boichenko, speaking from an undisclosed location outside the city, said 26 buses were waiting to evacuate some of 160,000 trapped civilians but Russia was denying safe passage.
He said on national television: “People are beyond the line of humanitarian catastrophe. “We need to completely evacuate Mariupol.”
A spokesperson for the mayor said later that nearly 5,000 people had been killed and 90 percent of buildings damaged, of which 40 percent were destroyed.
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Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said intelligence reports of possible Russian “provocations” along evacuation routes out of besieged cities meant there were no plans for such evacuations on Monday.
Elsewhere, Russia’s armoured columns are bogged down, with trouble resupplying and making little or no progress.
Russia’s military signalled last week it would concentrate on expanding territory held by separatists in eastern Ukraine, but Ukraine said it saw no sign Russia had given up a plan to surround the capital, which it targeted in its February 24 invasion.
Ukrainian officials had suggested Russia could be more willing to compromise having seen stiff Ukrainian resistance and heavy Russian losses. But a senior US State Department official said Putin did not give that impression.
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“Everything I have seen is he is not willing to compromise at this point,” the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity, after Ukraine’s president sketched out a potential way to end the crisis over the weekend.
Ukraine and Russia were preparing on Monday for the first face-to-face peace talks in more than two weeks.
But a senior US official said Putin did not appear ready to make compromises to end the war.
Ukraine’s foreign minister said a ceasefire was the most his country could hope for from the talks, due to be held in Istanbul on Tuesday after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke to Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Sunday.
Dmytro Kuleba said: “We are not trading people, land or sovereignty.”
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