Peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv floundered yet again as Russia intensified attacks in areas in the east of Ukraine.
While Ukraine accuses Russia of murdering people and flouting the norms of the war, Moscow says withdrawing western sanctions against it is going to be a major talking point in any upcoming peace dialogue. Making matters worse, in the United States, lawmakers are campaigning for offering Ukraine a massive weapons package.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said without lifting the sanctions peace negotiations will not be fruitful. He also said though peace talks looked difficult at this point, efforts will continue to be made.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy also sounded cynical about the outcome of talks. He said the chances were "high" that the talks would collapse on account of Russia's agenda of 'murdering people', Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, Zelensky also admitted that the Ukrainians were in the fight of their lives as the situation in Kharkiv and Donbas are difficult. Ukraine also said there was no success in the efforts to evacuate civilians trapped in Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant.
Ukraine Gets Massive Aid
The US continues to offer massive financial aid for Ukraine. President Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve $33 billion in new funding, of which more than $20 billion will be in the form of weapons. The funding plan is likely to be approved soon as it has got bipartisan approval.
With Ukraine diggning and the West funneling money and weapons, the focus is on Russian losses in the war. While Ukraine accepts it suffered massive losses, Kyiv also maintains that the Russian losses are bigger. "We have serious losses but the Russians' losses are much, much bigger," Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said, according to Reuters.
However, in reality, with each passing day Russia is taking control of Ukrainian territory in the east, south and south-east. Russia now controls most of Donbas, has captured Kherson and is mostly in control of Mariupol.