Russia’s military forces battered Ukraine’s capital region and other major cities in a bid to crush the resistance that has frustrated any hopes the Kremlin had for a lightning victory, while the two countries projected optimism for another round of scheduled talks Wednesday.
With Russia’s ground advance on Kyiv stalled despite the sustained bombardment, statements from the two sides suggested room for progress in their negotiations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said a neutral military status for Ukraine was being “seriously discussed,” while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described Russia’s demands for ending the war as becoming “more realistic.”
Zelenskyy said Russian forces had been unable to move deeper into Ukrainian territory but had continued their heavy shelling of cities including Mariupol, a southern seaport, that has been under attack for almost all of the nearly three-week war.
Kyiv residents huddled in homes and shelters amid a citywide curfew that runs until Thursday morning, as Russia rained sheels on areas in and around the city. A 12-story apartment building in central Kyiv erupted in flames after being hit by shrapnel.
“Efforts are still needed, patience is needed,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation. “Any war ends with an agreement.”