As Russia continues its attacks on Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that they are seeking full restoration of territory - including Crimea. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal's CEO council summit, Zelensky mentioned three top goals: to halt Russia's advance, reclaim territory and restore Ukraine's entire territory through diplomacy, reported Ukrainian media - the Kyiv Independent.
Mentioning that Ukraine will “not retreat”, Zelensky asserted that victory will be theirs. He further accused Russia of breaching agreements to pause fighting long enough to allow vulnerable civilians to be moved to safety, even the UN-coordinated operation at the steel works in Mariupol. "They're still fighting. They're still bombarding and shooting. So we need some ceasefire. We need a breather," Zelensky said at the WSJ event via video conferencing.
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Russia is showing no signs of pulling back from the war even after almost 10 weeks into it. Thousands of people have been killed - with no accurate number so far. Several cities, buildings, and properties have been destroyed. Reportedly, over 5 million Ukrainians have been forced to leave the country. Ukraine's Mariupol - a city of 400,000 before Russia launched its invasion on February 24, has been one of the worst-hit areas in the war-torn country.
Russian forces on Tuesday renewed their attacks on the Azovstal steel plant - the last pocket of resistance - in Ukraine's Mariupol, said, Ukrainian defenders. Russia began storming the steel mill, just as scores of civilians were evacuated from the bombed-out plant and reached relative safety.
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UN humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine Osnat Lubrani said that “thanks to the evacuation effort over the weekend, 101 people — including women, the elderly, and 17 children, the youngest 6 months old — were able to emerge from the bunkers under the Azovstal steelworks," reported AP.