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Ukraine sets ceasefire goal for new Russia talks, but breakthrough looks distant

The more than month-long invasion, the biggest attack on a European nation since World War Two, has seen over 3.8 million people flee abroad, left thousands dead or injured, and has brought isolation to Russia's economy and tumult to markets.

March 29, 2022 / 06:12 AM IST
A mural by graffiti artist KAWU depicting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as Harry Potter with Z on his forehead (instead of lightning bolt) symbolizing Russia's invasion of Ukraine is seen in Poznan, Poland March 9. (Image: Reuters)

A mural by graffiti artist KAWU depicting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as Harry Potter with Z on his forehead (instead of lightning bolt) symbolizing Russia's invasion of Ukraine is seen in Poznan, Poland March 9. (Image: Reuters)

Ukraine said its top objective at the first face-to-face talks with Russia in over two weeks, due to take place in Turkey on Tuesday, is to secure a ceasefire, although both it and the United States were skeptical of a major breakthrough.

The more than month-long invasion, the biggest attack on a European nation since World War Two, has seen over 3.8 million people flee abroad, left thousands dead or injured, and has brought isolation to Russia's economy and tumult to markets.

Nearly 5,000 people have been killed, including about 210 children, in the port city of Mariupol amid heavy Russian bombardment, according to figures from the mayor. Reuters was unable to immediately verify the numbers.

Survivors have told harrowing tales of people dying from lack of medical treatment, bodies being buried wherever space could be found, and women giving birth in basements.