Thousands of people have been killed and more than 2 million have fled the country since Russian troops crossed into Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its third week on Thursday.
Encircled cities have been suffering from shortages of food, medicine, heat, and electricity, and thousands of trapped civilians were hoping to leave.
On Tuesday, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky conceded his country could never join Nato, a key Russian concern it used to justify its invasion. Following Zelensky’s confession, hopes of ending the tragic cost of war in Ukraine were tentatively raised yesterday.
The capitulation comes as the death toll continues to increase, with Mariupol, in the south, being dubbed “hell on Earth.” On day 20 of President Putin’s invasion, the shelling of Kyiv and other cities continued.
Nearly 100 children have been killed since the war began and the Russian military has continued to target homes, hospitals, and schools.
During a video conference with military officials, Zelensky said:
“Ukraine is not a member of NATO. We understand that. We have heard for years that the doors were open, but we also heard that we could not join. It’s a truth and it must be recognized.”
However, he claimed that Russian aggression has “hypnotized” several Nato members and that Kyiv recognizes that Ukraine is “not a member” of the “strongest alliance.”
“We have heard for years that the doors were open, but we also heard that we could not join. “It’s a truth and it must be recognised, and I’m glad that our people are starting to realise that and count on themselves and our partners who are helping us. If we cannot enter through open doors, then we must cooperate with the associations with which we can, which will help us, protect us, and have separate guarantees,” he added.
On Tuesday, Peace talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations restarted after a pause on Monday, according to Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak.
But Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told news outlets that it was too early to predict the outcome, saying:
“The work is difficult, and in the current situation the very fact that [the talks] are continuing is probably positive.”