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More Strikes Hit Kyiv as Zelensky Sounds Upbeat on Russia Talks

Several loud explosions were heard at dawn on Wednesday in Kyiv, followed by columns of black smoke in the sky according to reporters. Around 6 a.m. local time at least

Several loud explosions were heard at dawn on Wednesday in Kyiv, followed by columns of black smoke in the sky according to reporters.

Around 6 a.m. local time at least three strong explosions sounded in the west of the capital, already targeted the day before and placed under curfew until Thursday morning.

Several thick columns of black smoke were observed shortly after in the sky of the city, like the day before, where several Russian strikes hit residential buildings.

Other explosions were heard in the early morning but no assessment or details were given immediately by the local authorities, while the press was not allowed to travel around the city because of the curfew.

In an overnight video message posted on social media, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russian demands during negotiations are becoming “more realistic.”

However, he also cautioned that “efforts are still needed, patience is needed” for the talks to be successful, and that “any war ends with an agreement.”

Meanwhile, the president also seemed to signal that Ukraine would not be able to join NATO. “This is the truth, and we have simply to accept it as it is”, he told northern European leaders, who were meeting in London on Tuesday.

The Ukrainian city of Zaporozhye, south of Dnipro, was targeted by Russian forces on Wednesday morning, with a railway station damaged in the attack.

The regional governor says “civilian sites in Zaporozhye were bombed for the first time” and that “rockets fell on the Zaporozhe-2 station area” and also on the city’s botanical gardens.

The governor says that nobody was killed in the attack.

Zaporozhye is the destination for hundreds of thousands of people using a ‘humanitarian corridor’ to flee from the besieged city of Mariupol.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu is in Moscow on Wednesday where he’s set to hold talks before continuing to Ukraine on Thursday to try and negotiate a ceasefire in the war which is now in its 21st day.

Turkish President Erdogan said the minister “will continue our efforts to obtain a ceasefire and peace by discussing with the two parties.”

There are no details yet on who Cavusoglu might meet with, but it comes amid a flurry of diplomatic activity with the Polish president also due to visit Ankara on Wednesday.

Last week Turkey organised and hosted the first meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers since the start of the war.

The direct talks between the two men, described as “not easy but civilized” by the Turks, had not made it possible to reach a ceasefire.

But Cavusoglu had indicated he would still like to facilitate a meeting between Ukrainian President Zelenskyy and Russian President Putin.

Turkey is an ally of Ukraine and a member of NATO but has not joined many other countries in imposing sanctions against Russia.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will deliver its verdict on Wednesday in a case launched by Kyiv, which is asking the UN’s highest court to order Moscow to immediately halt its invasion of Ukraine.

Kyiv believes that Russia illegally justified its invasion by falsely alleging genocide against Russian-speaking populations in the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Ukraine wants the ICJ, which was created in 1946 to settle disputes between states, to take emergency measures, to order Russia to “immediately suspend military operations”.

“Russia must be stopped, and the court has a role to play in stopping that” Ukraine’s representative told a hearing.

Russia declined to appear at the ICJ hearings into the case on March 7th and 8th, but in a written statement Moscow refuted the court’s jurisdiction over Ukraine’s claim.

Ukraine’s military claims they shot down three more Russian attack jets

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence has given a new operational update for Wednesday morning covering the last 24-hour period.

They claim to have destroyed three Russian aircraft, including two Su-34 fighter-bombers. In addition the ministry says Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian helicopter, three tactical UAVs, and two “winged missiles.”

The Ministry of Defence says its forces continued to launch strikes at Russian forces including air attacks on Russian convoys.

“The opponent continues to suffer losses and retreats in different directions” the statement says.

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