As fighting continues to rage, Kremlin says Russia would only use nuclear weapons in a case of ‘existential threat’.
- French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a ceasefire in call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
- Russia’s siege of Mariupol amounts to “genocide”, Ukraine’s chief prosecutor has said.
- About 200,000 people remain trapped in Mariupol as fighting continues to rage.
- Kremlin says Russia would only use nuclear weapons in case of “existential threat”.
- Russia says the war is going according to plan amid reports its offensive has stalled.
- Moscow has “failed” to achieve its goals in Ukraine, US says.
Here are the latest updates:
Macron calls for ceasefire in call with Putin
French President Emmanuel Macron has discussed peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and called for a ceasefire in a phone call with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the French presidency said.
War going according to plan, Russia says
The Kremlin has pushed back against Western assertions that the Russian military campaign is facing setbacks, reiterating that the invasion is going as planned.
“We’re talking about a special military operation that is going on, and it’s going on strictly in line with the plans,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN.
Siege of Mariupol is ‘genocide’, says Ukraine chief prosecutor
Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova has said evidence shows that Russia is committing “genocide” in its siege on the strategic port city of Mariupol.
Around 200,000 people are currently trapped in Mariupol, encircled and under relentless shelling.
“What now I see in Mariupol it’s not about war, it’s about genocide,” Venediktova told AFP news agency. “Theaters of war have some rules, some principles. What we see in Mariupol, [are] no rules at all, ”she added.
Russia would only use nuclear weapons in case of ‘existential threat’: Kremlin
Russia’s security policy dictates that the country would only use nuclear weapons if its very existence were threatened, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told US broadcaster CNN.
Peskov made the comment in an English-language interview when asked whether he was confident President Vladimir Putin would not use nuclear weapons.
“We have a concept of domestic security and it’s public, you can read all the reasons for nuclear arms to be used. So if it is an existential threat for our country, then it [the nuclear arsenal] can be used in accordance with our concept, ”he said.
“There are no other reasons that were mentioned in that text.”
Russia has ‘failed’ to achieve objectives in Ukraine, US says
Russia has failed to achieve its goals in Ukraine, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has said, warning that despite the apparent Russian setbacks, the war will not end “easily or rapidly”.
Sullivan said Russia had set three objectives for itself when it began its invasion: subjugating Ukraine, enhancing Moscow’s power and prestige, and dividing the West.
“Russia has thus far manifestly failed to accomplish all three objectives. In fact, it has thus far achieved the opposite, ”said Sullivan.
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Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
Read all the updates from Tuesday, March 22 here.