Ukraine prepared to discuss adopting neutral status – Zelensky

More on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s 90-minute interview with independent Russian media now.

In the interview, Zelensky says that as part of a peace deal with Russia, Ukraine is prepared to discuss adopting a neutral status, but it would have to be guaranteed by third parties and put to a referendum, Reuters reports.

“Security guarantees and neutrality, non-nuclear status of our state. We are ready to go for it. This is the most important point,” he says in the video call.

The Ukrainian leader – speaking in Russian throughout – adds Russia’s invasion has caused the destruction of Russian-speaking cities in Ukraine.

The use of the Russian language in Ukraine is something that has been discussed during peace talks between Ukraine and Russia, Reuters reports Zelensky as saying. But he adds Ukraine has refused to discuss other Russian demands, such as the demilitarisation of Ukraine.

In a Facebook the organisers of the memorial said the shoes had been placed near the existing ‘Shoes on the Danube Bank’ memorial, which commemorates the massacre of Hungarian Jews during World War Two.

It wrote: “People of Europe have to take all possible and impossible measures to end this tragedy. Until that happens, new shoes will appear here.

More than two-and-a-quarter million people have fled to Poland from Ukraine since the Russian invasion more than a month ago.

The Polish border guard says numbers crossing the border have been falling recently but there was a slight increase on Saturday.

Before the war began, Poland was home to a large Ukrainian community and most of the refugees initially went to stay with family and friends already living here.

As the weeks have passed, more and more women and children are coming that have nowhere to stay.

Thousands of Poles have opened their homes to them, but that’s a temporary solution.

Local officials in large cities including Warsaw and Krakow, which have attracted the biggest numbers, say they have run out of space. They have urged the government to implement a plan to provide housing over the longer term for the refugees.

Some of the refugees have already left Poland for other countries. A researcher at Warsaw University estimates up to 1.3 million remain.

Russians want to cut me off from my home by this strike. No way!” – a young waitress in one of Lviv’s restaurants drops a few words on her way to the next client.

She was checking on social media what exactly the Russian missiles hit in Lviv. It turned out her home is quite close to the oil storage facility that was attacked from the air.

That was the first massive strike on Lviv. After this attack the city expected one more. And even the least alarmist residents went to bomb shelters.

The next morning brought just a little relief and lots of strain.

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Many people in Lviv still believed that the first strike which happened a week ago was the exception and war is far away. Now the mental condition of people here changed. Nobody knows what to expect next. Nobody will trust the long silence without air alerts”, says Iryna Luniova, a director of one of Lviv’s schools.

Her team of teachers helps refugees. Normally, they had to persuade them to go to shelters. After fleeing danger zones in the other regions these people felt safe in Lviv.

“I thought a lot that Russia won’t miss the chance to attack us in western Ukraine. And, finally, this worst scenario happened”, says Iryna.

The 15-year-old daughter of one of her colleagues had a stroke out of fear yesterday. Their family lives close to the attacked location. Lviv surgeons carried out a six-hour-long operation to save her life.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon one can see many families of local residents and refugees on a walk with their children in the Ivan Franko landscape park. And now the main question they all ask is whether it’s still safe enough to keep their kids in Lviv.The Russian state media regulator, Roskomnadzor, has issued a warning to Russian media over an interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The regulator warned the press they must not publish the interview and that “an investigation has been started in order to identify the level of responsibility and what response will be taken” in relation to the media that carried out the interview.

Roskomnadzor notes some of the media outlets that conducted the interview are designated “foreign agents” in Russia.

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Earlier, liberal Russian outlet Meduza announced it had interviewed Zelensky, along with Dozhd TV and Russian newspaper Kommersant. Meduza and Dozhd are both blocked in Russia and Dozhd has suspended all journalistic activities.

Russia has recently passed new laws restricting the way in which Russian media can report on the war in Ukraine.

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