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As Monday draws to an end in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments of the day:
Ukrainian officials warn that Russia could try to split the country in two, calling it “a Korean scenario.” The Pentagon reports more Russian “ground activity” against Ukrainian forces in the Donbas area, assessing that Moscow is “prioritizing” the eastern region. Russian forces are trying to gain full control of Ukraine’s southern coast and link up with territory they’ve held in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region for years. Ukrainian military officials say they are now launching counteroffensives.
Ukrainian officials said they wouldn’t open humanitarian corridors for civilians Monday, saying intelligence reports warned of Russian provocations along routes.
A new round of in-person cease-fire talks is slated to begin Tuesday. Envoys from Ukraine and Russia are planning to meet in Istanbul. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told independent Russian journalists that Ukraine was prepared to discuss a neutral status as part of a peace deal subject to a referendum vote and including third-party security guarantees.
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and Ukrainian peace negotiators were reportedly sickened earlier this month. The Wall Street Journal and investigative outlet Bellingcat reported they experienced symptoms consistent with suspected poisoning, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. Reuters later cited an unnamed U.S. official saying the causes were likely “environmental.”
One of Russia’s last major independent news outlets, Novaya Gazeta, suspended publication after a new warning from the country’s media regulator. The newspaper’s editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov was awarded last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, which he plans to auction off to raise money for donations to Ukrainian refugees.
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A Moscow court says Russians can use banned Instagram and Facebook, as long as they don’t post prohibited content.
A bunch of kangaroos (and maybe wallabies) were rescued from a hard-hit Kharkiv zoo.
German states outlaw displays of the letter Z, a symbol of Russia’s war in Ukraine.