• Sun. May 22nd, 2022

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Russia pounds Ukraine as fourth round of talks are suspended for a day

Ahead of the meeting with China’s senior diplomat, Sullivan warned that other countries should not consider coming to Russia’s aid and singled out China.

“We have made it clear to not just Beijing, but every country in the world, that if they think that they can basically bail Russia out, they can give Russia a workaround to the sanctions that we’ve imposed, they should have another thing coming,” Sullivan said.

“We will ensure that neither China, nor anyone else, can compensate Russia for these losses,” he added.

The White House is discussing having Biden travel to Europe in the coming weeks, according to three U.S. officials and two people familiar with the discussions. The trip would focus on the war and aim to reassure America’s allies in the region, and it has yet to be finalized, the sources said.

Russia-Ukraine talks

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators discussed a cease-fire, the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops and security guarantees, Podolyak tweeted on Monday just before the talks.

“Communication is being held, yet it’s hard,” Podolyak tweeted less than two hours later, along with a photo of the negotiations. He blamed the difficulty on the two countries’ different political systems.

Previous rounds of negotiations have failed to make concrete progress.

Zelenskyy will make a virtual address to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, the first time he will address both the Senate and the House of Representatives together since the crisis began.

Over the weekend, Russia intensified its air campaign after its ground invasion has progressed slower than many had expected. At least one person was killed early Monday in a strike on a residential building in the capital, Kyiv, according to the State Emergency Service.

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The strike destroyed part of the building’s façade and blasted out its windows, photos taken by NBC News showed. Piles of debris lay in the street in front of the building.

The strike hit right near the front door, making evacuations more difficult, NBC News’ Richard Engel reported.

“It blew out my window and doors. If I had been near them, I’d be dead,” said Serhii Lytvinov, 52, a resident of the apartment block.

‘We will rebuild’

In the country’s south, Russian strikes have sparked a humanitarian crisis, including in the port city of Mariupol. More than 2,500 residents have been killed there since the start of the invasion, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said on Monday, according to Reuters. NBC News has not independently verified the number of those killed or injured.

The first Mariupol residents to evacuate the city made their way along a “humanitarian corridor” toward the city of Zaporizhia in a convoy of around 160 private cars on Monday, according to the city council. Russian forces were so far observing a cease-fire along the route, the city council added.

Previous attempts to establish a route into and out of Mariupol have failed, with fleeing residents often coming under Russian fire.

Evacuations from areas around Kyiv also progressed for a fifth day, the regional governor, Oleksiy Kuleba, said in a TV interview on Monday.