March 30 (Reuters) – Russia is promising to scale down military operations around the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, while Ukraine is suggesting it might adopt a neutral status in confidence-building steps that may help de-escalate the five-week war.
TALKS AND DIPLOMACY
* Ukraine proposed not joining alliances or hosting bases of foreign troops. Read full story
* The United States is skeptical of Russia‘s seriousness in pursuing peace. Read full story
* Russian President Putin and French counterpart Macron talk again by phone. Read full story
* Ukrainian President Zelenskiy will address Australia’s parliament on Thursday. Read full story
* United States and Russia both head to India to lobby its government, which has called for a ceasefire but not condemned Russia‘s invasion.
* British military intelligence says Russian units suffering heavy losses have been forced to return to Belarus and Russia to reorganize and resupply. Read full story
* Residential areas of Ukraine‘s eastern city of Lysychansk were shelled by heavy artillery, the regional governor said. Read full story
* A Russian rocket hit an administration building in Mykolaiv, killing at least 12 people. Read full story
* Defence Minister Shoigu said Russia had degraded Ukraine‘s military and would respond if NATO supplied planes and air defence systems.
* Share markets and global borrowing costs surged on signs of progress in talks. Ukrainian bonds and Russia‘s roubles also benefited, while the oil price dropped. Read full story
* Holcim, the world’s biggest cement-maker, said it was exiting the Russian market; Japan will ban the export of high-end cars and luxury goods to Russia; Germany wants to end all fossil fuel imports from Russia.
* “It is up to the sides to stop this tragedy,” Turkey’s President Erdogan.
* “We are eight people. We have two buckets of potatoes, one bucket of onions,” Irina, boiling soup in the stairwell of her damaged building.
* “It is very scary to be left with nothing,” Gennadiy, an old man leaving his wrecked building with his belongings on his back.
(Compiled by Andrew Cawthorne and Stephen Coates)