Destroyed shopping center after it was hit in a military strike in the Podilskyi residential district of Kyiv, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine March 21, 2022. REUTERS./

 – Ukraine defied a Russian demand that its forces lay down arms before dawn on Monday in Mariupol, where hundreds of thousands of civilians have been trapped in a city under siege and already laid to waste by Russian bombardment. Read full story

Russia’s assault on Ukraine, now in its fourth week, has stalled along most fronts, failing to seize a single major Ukrainian city much less capture the capital Kyiv or swiftly topple the government of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. But Russian shelling and missiles have caused devastation in built-up residential areas.


* Authorities in Odesa accused Russian forces of carrying out a strike on residential buildings in the city’s outskirts early on Monday, the first such attack on the Ukrainian Black Sea port. They said a fire erupted but there were no casualties.Read full story

* Russian air forces hit a Ukrainian army military facility in the Rivne region with cruise missiles, Russia’s Defence Ministry said on Monday. Read full story


* Ukraine described the situation in Mariupol on Monday as “very difficult” and said it had been unable to establish a new safe corridor to evacuate civilians from the beleaguered city. Read full story

* Ten million people have been displaced by the conflict, including nearly 3.5 million who have fled abroad, according to the U.N. refugee agency. Read full story


* European Union leaders began a week of intense diplomacy aimed at agreeing a fifth round of tough sanctions against Russia, including an embargo against its lucrative oil and gas sector called for by some eastern member states. But that could be a divisive move as the EU still relies on Russia for 40% of its gas. The Netherlands warned on Monday that the EU could not realistically cut itself off by “tomorrow”. Read full story


* The Kremlin said on Monday peace talks between Russia and Ukraine had not yet made any significant progress. Moscow has accused Kyiv of stalling talks by making proposals unacceptable for Russia. Ukraine has said it is willing to negotiate but will not surrender or accept Russian ultimatums. Read full story


* “The violent aggression against Ukraine is unfortunately not slowing down,” Pope Francis said. “It is a senseless massacre where every day slaughters and atrocities are being repeated.” Read full story

* “Kyiv calling to the whole world … Come out of neutrality, you boys and girls,” some of the lyrics from Ukrainian punk band Beton’s reworking of the famous “London Calling” by British punk rock group the Clash. Read full story


(Compiled by Michael Perry and Stephen Coates; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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