Amid constant shelling, leaders of 3 EU nations arrive in Kyiv in show of support

Ukrainian police inspect damage from a Russian bombing attack at a destroyed apartment building in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Monday. Photo by Vladyslav Musiienko/UPI
1 of 5 | Ukrainian police inspect damage from a Russian bombing attack at a destroyed apartment building in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Monday. Photo by Vladyslav Musiienko/UPI | License Photo

March 15 (UPI) -- Political leaders from Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia arrived in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv Tuesday, as the city prepared to impose a 36-hour curfew amid continued shelling by Russian military forces.

Kyiv will impose the curfew at nightfall during what Mayor Vitali Klitschko called a "difficult and dangerous moment" in a video posted to his Telegram channel Tuesday.


Peace talks continued between Russia and Ukraine on Tuesday, with Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Fiala joining Slovenian President Janez Janša and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki traveling to Kyiv to act as representatives of the European Council, of which Ukraine has applied to become a member.


Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczynski also is part of the delegation.

The peace talks are a continuation of dialogue from Monday that offered at least a glimmer of hope that some progress is being made in the negotiations. Tuesday's talks were being held virtually rather than in-person.

Russian forces have intensified attacks across Ukraine and spread farther west, with one attack hitting a Kyiv apartment building, setting off a major fire and killing at least one person.

Another Russian airstrike hit the entrance of a train station that was being used as a bomb shelter for civilians. Kyiv officials said the station now is closed to train traffic.


The mayor of Mariuopol said Tuesday that Russian soldiers have occupied the southern Ukrainian city's hospital, preventing some 400 doctors and patients from leaving. Around 350,000 of the city's residents remain trapped, as it deals with constant Russian shelling.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Canadian Parliament and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remotely Tuesday morning. He is scheduled to do the same with a joint session of U.S. Congress on Wednesday, at which he is expected to ask for more help and possibly sending U.S. fighter jets to Ukraine.

Zelensky said late Monday that the new peace talks have gone "pretty well."

"Negotiations are ongoing," an adviser to Zelensky said in a tweet Tuesday. "Consultations on the main negotiation platform renewed."

In a video address Tuesday, Zelensky appealed directly to the Russian people and urged them to stop fighting.

"As long as your country has not completely closed itself off from the whole world, turning into a very large North Korea, you must fight," Zelensky said, according to The New York Times.

Women look on in tears while firemen work to clear rubble and extinguish a fire at a building that was heavily damaged by a Russian airstrike in the Obolon district near Kyiv, Ukraine, on Monday. Photo by Vladyslav Musiienko/UPI

Polish officials said in a statement the trip to Kyiv was made "to confirm the unequivocal support of the entire European Union for the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. The aim of this visit is also to present a broad package of support for the Ukraine and Ukrainians."

Zelensky said shortly after the Russian invasion began Feb. 24 that he's applied to the EU for expedited Ukrainian membership. EU officials have been receptive to the proposition, and said last week that they would welcome Ukraine to be its 28th member. They also said, however, that Ukraine must follow the traditional membership path, which can take years.

In central Ukraine, Russian strikes damaged a runway and terminal center at the Dnipro Airport, regional leader Valentin Reznichenko said.

Russia's advancement continued to produce mixed results, with the military taking control of key southern cities like Kherson and Melitopol, but failing to capture other key locations like Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Sumy.

Scenes from the Russian war on Ukraine

European Union leaders attend a summit at the Chateau de Versailles near Paris on March 11, 2022. Photo by the European Union/ UPI | License Photo

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