Conflict continues as Russia, Ukraine expected to resume talks

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Fighting continues as Russia’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine has entered the seventh day, while reportedly, a new round of peace talks is to take place.

A massive Russian airstrikes hit the centre of Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv on Tuesday, as rockets struck residential areas and buildings of the regional state administration, Xinhua news agency reported citing Ukraine’s State Service for Emergencies.

The agency reported Russia’s attack on the Kiev TV tower which had killed five people and injured five others.

Russia would strike the information warfare and psychological operation center of the Ukrainian Armed Forces as well as technological facilities of the Ukrainian Security Service in Kiev with high-precision weapons, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a regular briefing on Tuesday.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu vowed to continue the military operation in Ukraine until achieving the main goal of defending Russia from Western threats.

“The main thing for us is to protect Russia from the military threat posed by Western countries that are trying to use the Ukrainian people in the fight against our country,” Shoigu said during a video conference with senior defence officials.

Since the military operation started on Thursday, the Russian Armed Forces had destroyed 1,325 Ukrainian military infrastructure objects, Konashenkov said.

In addition, 395 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, 59 multiple launch rocket systems, 179 field artillery guns and mortars as well as 286 units of special military vehicles had been destroyed, he added.

The access of Ukrainian troops to the Sea of Azov had been completely blocked, Konashenkov told reporters.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on foreign ministers of Poland, France and Germany to increase sanctions pressure on Russia and provide more weapons and financial support to Ukraine.

Amid the deadly conflict, Russian and Ukrainian delegations held on Monday their first round of negotiations in search of a solution to the crisis in Belarus’ Gomel region, with no clear breakthrough.

The second round of the peace talks could reportedly take place on Wednesday, TASS news agency reported citing sources.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko did not rule out the possibility of a meeting between Russian and Ukrainian presidents if progress was to be made in the negotiations, Xinhua reported citing BelTA news agency.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that it was too early to talk about such a meeting.

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