Clashes intensify as Russia-Ukraine conflict enters 4th day

Ukraine has now agreed to hold talks with Russia in Belarus, according to Vladimir Medinsky, the head of the Russian delegation. 

The talk will take place in the Gomel region, near the border of both Russia and Ukraine. It would be the first negotiation between the two countries since Russia launched its military campaign in Ukraine on February 24.

But just hours ago, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared a firm stance on rejecting the talk, saying Ukraine is ready to negotiate, but not in Belarus. 

The president accused Belarus of "aggressions" against Ukraine and not staying neutral in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. But Belarus' leader Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday that his armed forces are not taking part in Russia's operation. Ukraine will "accept any other city in a country that hasn't been used for launching missiles," Zelenskyy added, suggesting Warsaw, Bratislava, Budapest, Istanbul and Baku as other choices.

Entering into its fourth day, the fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces has no signs of ceasing. Early Sunday morning, an oil plant in the city of Vasylkiv, southwest of Kyiv, exploded from a targeted strike. According to a Chinese national residing in Kyiv, the fire was so bright that it could be seen from afar.

A view shows a burning oil depot reportedly hit by shelling near the military airbase Vasylkiv in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, February 27, 2022. /Reuters

A view shows a burning oil depot reportedly hit by shelling near the military airbase Vasylkiv in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, February 27, 2022. /Reuters

In the northeastern region, heavy shelling struck Kharvkiv, the second largest city in the country, as witnessed by a China Media Group reporter. In the daytime, street fighting broke out throughout Kharkiv as Russian forces entered the city. But the city is still fully under Ukraine's control, said regional governor Oleh Sinegubov. 


The West continues to harden its stance against Russia. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Sunday morning that Australia will seek to provide "whatever support we can for lethal aid" to Ukraine, only days after saying the government will only support non-lethal aid. The country will supply such aid through its NATO allies, particularly the U.S. and the UK, Morrison added.

Germany declared it will close its airspace to Russia for three months, joining France, Norway and a list of European countries who have imposed restrictions on Russian airlines.

At least 64 civilians have been killed and more than 160,000 displaced since February 24, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Over 116,000 Ukrainians have crossed international borders into neighboring European countries.

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