US puts onus on Zelenskyy for peace talks as Russia cripples Ukraine's energy grid | 5 points

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US puts onus on Zelenskyy for peace talks as Russia cripples Ukraine's energy grid | 5 points
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The United States has said only Zelenskyy can decide on whether to have peace talks with Putin as Russian missiles continue to rain down on Ukraine’s energy grid ahead of a cold winter.

New Delhi,UPDATED: Nov 19, 2022 12:57 IST

Firefighters work to put out a fire in a residential building hit by a Russian missile strike in Kyiv. (Photo: Reuters)

By India Today Web Desk: Russia continued its assault on Ukraine’s energy grid on Friday with the war-torn nation facing long hours of power cuts at the onset of winter. With half of Kyiv’s population plunged into darkness, the United States has said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has to decide on peace talks with Vladimir Putin, rejecting the notion that it was pressing Kyiv to negotiate.

“It’s wrong, it’s a wrong vision of Putin,” Kyiv mayor Klitschko told the Associated Press as more missiles rained down on the northeastern Kharkiv region, smashing into critical facilities such as hospitals and schools.

In the wake of its retreat from the southern city of Kherson, Russia has also intensified its assault on the eastern Donetsk region, where Putin’s forces took control of the village of Opytne and repelled a Ukrainian counteroffensive to reclaim three other settlements.

Here are the top developments in five points.

  • The United States on Friday said that only Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy can decide to open peace talks with Russia.

    “We have also said that Zelenskyy gets to determine if and when he’s ready for negotiations and what those negotiations look like,” a US official said, adding that nobody from the US is pushing, prodding or nudging him to the negotiation table.

  • The US also said that conversations with Russia to end the war would not happen without Zelenskyy being a part of it. However, the Ukraine president has made it clear that he’s not ready for that until Russia retreats from all the regions it has occupied since the beginning of the invasion.

  • Meanwhile, Ukrainian and international investigators were forging ahead on uncovering suspected war crimes committed by Russian forces in Kherson and other regions. Officials said they have opened more than 430 war crimes cases and are investigating four alleged torture sites, AFP reported.

  • Russia, too, accused Ukraine of war crimes as it claimed 10 prisoners of war were executed, citing a video. The video shows what appear to be Russian soldiers lying down on the ground in Makiivka, in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, after surrendering to armed men with yellow bands on their arms, Reuters reported.

    “We demand international organizations to condemn this egregious crime, to conduct a thorough investigation of it,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

  • Meanwhile, Russian missile strikes have crippled almost half of Ukraine’s energy system, the government said on Friday, and authorities in Kyiv warned that the city could face a “complete shutdown” of the power grid ahead of a long and cold winter.



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