By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
MOSCOW/KYIV/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Russia shattered ceasefire talks as it prepared for a massive assault on Kyiv, the capital, and continued shelling several cities, Ukrainian officials, and witnesses said.
The ongoing attacks prevented the evacuation of civilians from besieged cities such as Kyiv, Mariupol, Sumy, and Kharkiv, Ukraine’s government announced.
Ukraine rejected a Russian proposal to allow civilians to escape after it emerged that many routes would only lead to Russia or its ally Belarus.
The clashes came while the third round of Russia-Ukraine peace talks ended with little agreement, though a fourth round was to take place Tuesday, officials said.
Monday’s talks were held without a senior negotiator amid allegations he was shot dead over the weekend after leaking state secrets to Moscow.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence said Denis Kireev, 45, “dies as a hero” during an operation to “defend the nation.”
Yet Ukrainian legislators claimed he had been shot and killed by Ukraine’s security service after resisting arrest on suspicion of treason. It was impossible to reconcile the different versions of events.
As the war continues, beverages giant Coca-Cola and fast-food chain McDonald’s faced calls to join a growing corporate boycott of Russia, which some 230 Western firms have joined.
The Kremlin warned, however, that it could retaliate against European sanctions by cutting off natural gas to the bloc, a move not even seen during the height of the Cold War.
Moscow said it would only end its invasion if Ukraine changed its constitution to guarantee it won’t join the NATO military alliance and the European Union.
Ukraine accused Russia of genocide in a conflict that already led to more than 1.5 million refugees. Russia “is resorting to tactics reminiscent of medieval siege warfare,” a Ukraine lawyer told The Hague-based International Court of Justice.
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