March 14 (Reuters) – Diplomatic efforts to end the war in Ukraine are stepping up, with Ukrainian and Russian negotiators set to talk again after both sides cited progress over the weekend, while high-level U.S. officials are talking to European and Chinese counterparts.
There’s been no let up in violence, however, with Russian missiles hitting a large Ukrainian base near the border with NATO member Poland on Sunday and bombardments continuing around country. Read full story
* Kyiv authorities said they were stockpiling two weeks worth of essential food items for the 2 million people who have not yet fled the capital.
* Ukraine reported renewed air strikes on an airport in the west, heavy shelling on Chernihiv northeast of the capital and attacks on the southern town of Mykolayiv, where officials said nine people were killed. Ukraine’s forces counter-attacked in Mykolayiv and the eastern Kharkiv region, an Interior Ministry official said.
* Russian and Ukrainian officials gave their most upbeat assessments yet of progress in their talks on the war, suggesting there could be positive results within days. Talks via video are due to start at 10:30 a.m. Kyiv time (0830 GMT).
* Ukraine’s foreign minister and the U.S. secretary of state said they agreed more action is needed to stop Russian aggression. Moscow is intent on “destroying” its neighbour, a U.S. official said.
* Russia asked China for military equipment after its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, several U.S. officials said. U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who is due to meet with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Rome on Monday, warned Beijing it would “absolutely” face consequences if it helped Moscow evade sanctions. Read full story
PLIGHT OF CIVILIANS
* The city council in the besieged port of Mariupol said 2,187 residents had been killed there since the start of the invasion. The city is running out of food and water, and aid convoy failed again to reach the city due to Russian shelling, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister said
U.S. JOURNALIST KILLED
* An American journalist was shot and killed by Russian forces in the town of Irpin in Ukraine’s Kyiv region and another journalist was wounded, Kyiv regional police chief Andriy Nyebytov said. Read full story
* The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR reported that nearly 2.7 million people had fled Ukraine as of Saturday, nearly 1.7 million of them heading to Poland. Read full story
* Most share markets firmed and oil slid on Monday on hopes for progress in Russian-Ukraine peace talks. MKTS/GLOB
* The war in Ukraine is a tragedy that must be stopped or there will be a global food crisis, as fertiliser prices worldwide are already too high for many farmers, Russia’s coal and fertiliser king Andrei Melnichenko said. Read full story* Russia’s finance ministry on Monday said it had approved a temporary procedure for repaying foreign currency debt, but warned that payments would be made in roubles if sanctions prevent banks from honouring debts in the currency of issue. Read full story
* “As a Russian by nationality, a Belarusian by birth, and a Ukrainian by blood, I feel great pain and disbelief witnessing brotherly peoples fighting and dying,” said Andrei Melnichenko.
* “We are going through the worst ordeal in our history. In our lives,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a late night video speech. “We protect the most precious thing we have. We must hold on. We must fight. And we will win. I know that. I believe in that.”
(Compiled by Lincoln Feast.)