There is a possibility that peace talks may be coming to some sort of positive outcome. If so, and Russia fails to take Kyiv, it would be a serious black eye for Russian prestige and the reputation of its military, especially its air force.
“It’s impossible to say how many days we will still need to free our land, but it is possible to say that we will do it because… we have reached a strategic turning point,” Zelenskyy said, without elaborating. It is conjectured he is referring to the peace talks.
“There are certain positive shifts, negotiators on our side tell me,” Putin reportedly said. “I will talk about all of this later.”
The U.K. Ministry of Defense said Friday that Russia is “likely seeking to reset and reposture its forces for renewed offensive activity in the coming days.”
“This will probably include operations against the capital Kyiv,” adding that “it remains highly unlikely that Russia has successfully achieved the objectives outlined in its pre-invasion plan.”
Boris Johnson has had some hard conversations with Zelenskyy on the No Fly Zone. “We’ve had some very frank conversations and ones which have been deeply upsetting because there is a line beyond which, quite frankly, the UK and NATO would be deemed to be in direct conflict with Russia,” Johnson told Sky News Friday.
“It’s agonizing, absolutely agonizing. I’ve had this conversation at least a couple of times with Volodymyr but I think the difficulty is that it will require me to order RAF jets, UK pilots into the air with a mission to shoot down Russian fast jets.”
FNC: “Russian forces are continuing their offensive toward Kyiv on Friday, trying to break through Ukrainian defenses in Kukhari, 56 miles to its northwest, and Demidov, 25 miles north, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said in a statement.
Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk also said buses would be sent Friday to multiple Kyiv suburbs to bring people to the capital, and to bring aid to those staying behind.
Vereshchuk added that Ukrainian authorities are trying yet again Friday to send aid into the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol — the site of a maternity and children’s hospital bombing Wednesday — and bring evacuees out to the city of Zaporizhzhia. Repeated previous attempts have failed, as aid and rescue convoys were targeted by Russian shelling.”
Zelenskyy talked to Biden. “We agreed on further steps to support the defense of Ukraine and increase sanctions against Russia,” said the Ukrainian president.
“We are also taking a further step of abandoning imports of goods from several signature sectors of the Russian economy including seafood, vodka and diamonds,” Biden said. “The G-7 will seek to deny Russia the ability to borrow from leading multinational institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Putin is the aggressor and Putin must pay the price.”
Had a substantive conversation with @POTUS. Gave him the assessment of the situation on the battlefield, informed about the crimes of Russia against the civilian population. We agreed on further steps to support the defense of Ukraine and increase sanctions against Russia.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 11, 2022
Pressure on Putin grows from within Russia. An antiwar group is push polling Russians. “What we try to do through these phone calls is to ask them, how much do they know about what is going on in Ukraine,” said Paulius Senuta, co-founder of CallRussia.org. “If we can swing the sentiment of ‘this is a war, people are dying’ … we can stop [the] population [from] basically supporting” Putin.
The United Nations’ human rights office said Friday that it has “credible reports of several cases of Russian forces using cluster munitions, including in populated areas.”
“Due to their wide area effects, the use of cluster munitions in populated areas is incompatible with the international humanitarian law principles governing the conduct of hostilities,” it said in a statement.
“We have so far recorded 549 civilian deaths and 957 injuries since the armed attack began on 24 February, although the actual figure could be much higher,” it added.