Russia Ukraine conflict

Kremlin says ‘too soon to assess’ Ukraine talks

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The Kremlin on Tuesday said it was too early to draw conclusions from a first round of talks held with Ukraine on ending the war following Moscow’s invasion last week.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin had been informed about the talks and that “it is too soon to assess” their outcome.

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Russian and Ukrainian officials met on Monday on the border between Belarus and Ukraine for the first talks since the outbreak of war.

Peskov said Moscow will “analyze” the outcome of the talks.

He spoke several hours after Ukrainian officials said the Russian army shelled the central square of Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv.

Russian troops also reached the southern city of Kherson on Tuesday, advancing from Moscow-annexed Crimea.

Peskov said Russian forces “do not carry out strikes against civilian infrastructure or residential complexes,” despite widespread evidence otherwise.

Ukraine says more than 350 civilians have been killed since Moscow launched its attack last Thursday.

Russia has admitted losses but has not disclosed how many of its troops have died so far.

Some Russian regional leaders started naming soldiers killed in Ukraine on Tuesday.

Peskov said they did not require permission from Moscow to do so but declined to say how many Russians have been killed.

“Let’s wait until the end of this operation,” he said.

Moscow’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said earlier on Tuesday that Russia would continue its offensive in Ukraine until its “goals are achieved.”

He said Moscow aims to “demilitarize and de-Nazify” Ukraine, as well as protect Russia from a “military threat created by Western countries.”

Russia has faced a barrage of international sanctions for launching its offensive in Ukraine.

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