Just past 7pm in Kyiv. Here’s what you need to know.

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, said he was “strongly calling for” immediate humanitarian access and safe travel from Mariupol and other besieged cities during a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.

Mr. Michel “firmly reiterates the EU’s position: support Ukraine and her sovereignty, condemn and punish Russia’s aggression”, he said Friday in a tweet on the verified account. his own.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin said that Putin had “a prolonged phone call” with Michel.

“The development of the situation in Ukraine was discussed in detail. Charles Michel briefed Vladmir Putin about his contact with the Ukrainian leader during his recent visit to Kyiv,” according to a statement from the Kremlin. .

Putin “outlined his basic assessments regarding the special military operation for the defense of the Donbass republics” and spoke of “measures taken on an ongoing basis to protect civilians.” , the daily opening of humanitarian corridors and the declaration of a ceasefire for the safe evacuation of civilians, the Kremlin said.

“It is noted that after the liberation of Mariupol, for humanitarian reasons, an order was issued to cancel the attack on the industrial park of the Azovstal factory. At the same time, all servicemen of the Armed Forces On Ukraine page, fighters of Kremlin nationalism say foreign battalions and mercenaries have sacrificed their lives, are treated with dignity under international law and provided with medical care qualification.

Attention has been drawn to the irresponsible statements of EU representatives about the need to resolve the situation in Ukraine by military means, as well as to ignore a series of crimes, the Kremlin said. war crimes committed by the Ukrainian security forces. “It is noted that Brussels can influence the Kiev authorities to force them to stop massive shelling of the Donbas settlements and other serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

Some context: World leaders have accused Russia of committing war crimes for weeks. There have been mass graves and murdered civilians found in Bucha and outside Mariupol. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court called Ukraine “crime scene,” after the ICC officially opened an investigation into the situation in Ukraine on March 2. And just today, the London Metropolitan Police said they had received approx. 50 intro to alleged war crimes in Ukraine, as it collects evidence to assist the ICC in its ongoing investigation.

Responding to Michel’s call for direct contact between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Putin “reaffirmed the well-known position on the issue, noting that such possibility depends on concrete outcomes in the future.” ongoing negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, representatives, in which the Ukrainian side is showing contradictions and unwillingness to seek solutions acceptable to both sides.”

The Kremlin also reiterated baseless claims that the leaders of “most” EU countries are “infatuated with” Russophobia, “in the cultural, humanitarian and sports fields, for example”.

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