The third week of the war was marked by the assertion that there were still reasons to believe that negotiations might yield an agreement with the Russian government.
In a preview of his speech to Congress, Zelenskyy thanked President Joe Biden for $13.6 billion and all the "friends of Ukraine" who supported it. He called for more weapons and stronger sanctions to punish Russia, and reiterated his call to "close down the skies over Ukraine to Russian planes and missiles."
After their Tuesday meeting via video, Zelenskyy stated that Russia's demands are becoming "more realistic". Both sides were expected back to talk later Wednesday.
In his video address to nation, he stated that "Efforts are still necessary, patience is required." "Any war ends when there is an agreement."
He stated that Russian forces were unable to penetrate deeper into Ukrainian territory, but continued heavy shelling of Ukrainian cities.
As the number fleeing Ukraine during Europe's worst fighting since World War II surpassed 3 million, there were developments on the diplomatic front as well as on the ground.
Zelenskyy stated that 28,893 civilians were allowed to flee through nine humanitarian corridors during the last day, despite the Russian refusal to allow assistance into Mariupol.
According to the U.N., close to 700 civilians were killed in Ukraine. The true number is likely higher.
According to Reuters, the Ukrainian prosecutor stated Wednesday that 103 children were killed in Ukraine since Russia invaded.
The fighting has intensified in Kyiv's outskirts. On Thursday morning, the mayor declared a curfew.
According to images and a statement released by the Kyiv emergency agency, shrapnel caused by an artillery shell crashed into a 12-story apartment block in central Kyiv. Another building was also damaged. Agence France Press reported that two people were injured and 35 evacuated by the emergency agency.
A powerful explosion was also heard in Kharkiv overnight and could be heard throughout the eastern part of the city.
According to officials local, the Russian naval ships launched overnight strikes on two towns on the Azov Sea coasts, one near Odesa and the other south of Mariupol.
AFP reported that at least four people died and 40 were injured in the attack by Russia on Tuesday. The strike was carried out in Kyiv’s Sviatoshynsky District. Other buildings were also damaged.
According to Oleksiy Kuleba, head of Kyiv region, Russian forces have increased fighting in the Kyiv suburbs. This includes the area around Bucha in northwest and the highway that leads west towards Zhytomyr. According to him, Russian troops want to block the capital's transport routes and disrupt logistical capabilities while they plan to attack Kyiv.
Twelve of the twelve towns in Kyiv have no water, six do not have heat.
Kuleba stated that Russia had occupied Ivankiv (50 miles north of Kyiv) and seized control of the region bordering Belarus.
He said that in the Kyiv region, children are dying from endless firing.
On Tuesday, a senior U.S. defense officer spoke to The Associated Press under anonymity to discuss the Pentagon’s assessment. He said that while the Russians were increasing their use of long-range fire to strike civilian targets in Kyiv, but that they were not making much progress elsewhere in the country, it was still a significant improvement on their current situation. According to the official, Russian troops are still 9 miles away from the capital.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that Moscow would insist on Ukraine's withdrawal from NATO membership, adopting a neutral status, and "demilitarizing" before Tuesday's talks with Ukrainian officials.
Zelenskyy stated to European leaders in London that he realized that NATO does not intend to accept Ukraine, a statement that appeared to indicate potential ground for an agreement with Moscow.
He said, "We've heard for years about open doors, but we also heard we couldn't get in those doors." "This truth is true, and we must accept it as such.
NATO does not accept nations that have unresolved territorial conflicts. Zelenskyy repeatedly stated that he is aware NATO won't offer Ukraine membership and that he could consider a neutral status but would need strong security guarantees from Russia and the West.
According to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the Russian troops took over Mariupol's largest hospital on a day when many people had fled the city. According to him, the troops had forced 400 people from their homes into the Regional Intensive Care Hospital. They also used them and about 100 staff members as human shields and refused to allow them to leave.
Kyrylenko stated that shelling had already severely damaged the main hospital building. However, medical staff have been treating patients in basement wards.
To share the horrors they have been witnessing, doctors from other Mariupol hospitals created a video. One woman stated that she didn't want to be remembered as heroes or martyrs after death. She said that it was insufficient to refer to people simply as the wounded.
An employee of Russian state TV was arrested for interrupting a live broadcast to protest the war in Ukraine. He was fined approximately $270, but could still face a sentence in prison.
After being released, Marina Ovsyannikova stated that these were the most difficult days in my life. She said, "They were very hard days because I literally went 2 full days without sleep, and the interrogation lasted more than 14 hours. They didn't let me contact my family or close friends, and didn't provide any support legal,"
Ovsyannikova was an employee at Channel 1. She walked into the studio with a poster that said "stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda. They are lying to you here." It said "no war" at its top and "Russians opposed to the war" at its bottom.
Two Fox News journalists were killed when a car they were driving was set on fire by a fireman Monday near Kyiv. Fox identified them as Pierre Zakrzewski, a video journalist from Ukraine, and Oleksandra Kuvshynova (a Ukrainian journalist who was helping Fox crews navigate this area). Another journalist was also killed in Ukraine on Sunday.
In a brave show of support in the face of danger, three leaders from the European Union - Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic - visited Kyiv on Tuesday.