Zelensky Tells CNN He’s Open To Negotiations With Putin, But If They Fail It ‘would Mean That This Is A Third World War’

Zelensky Tells CNN He’s Open To Negotiations With Putin, But If They Fail It ‘would Mean That This Is A Third World War’

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14 hr 41 min agoZelensky: “I’m ready for negotiations” with Putin, but if they fail, it could mean “a third World War”From CNN’s Chandelis Duster

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with CNN on Sunday, March 20.  (CNN)Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday he is ready to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but warned that if any negotiation attempts fail, it could mean the fight between the two countries would lead to “a third World War.”

“I’m ready for negotiations with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations, we cannot end this war,” Zelensky told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an exclusive interview Sunday morning.

“If there’s just 1% chance for us to stop this war, I think that we need to take this chance. We need to do that. I can tell you about the result of this negotiations — in any case, we are losing people on a daily basis, innocent people on the ground,” he said.

He continued, “Russian forces have come to exterminate us, to kill us. And we can demonstrate that the dignity of our people and our army that we are able to deal a powerful blow, we are able to strike back. But, unfortunately, our dignity is not going to preserve the lives. So, I think we have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating, possibility of talking to Putin. But if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third World War.”

15 hr 4 min agoMariupol struggling to learn more about art school bombingFrom CNN staff

An advisor to Mariupol’s mayor said in an update on the art school that was bombed by Russian forces in the last hours that city officials are struggling to learn more about how many people were hiding in the school that was acting as a shelter.

Petro Andrushenko wrote on social media: 

“So far, there is no exact operational data on how many people were hiding in the shelter or the number of casualties. I expect we will have it later today. But the situation is difficult and there is nowhere to get the data from.” An earlier estimate from the city council put the number sheltering in the school building at 400. 

The information black hole reflects a similar lack of clarity about how many people survived an attack five days ago on a theatre in Mariupol that was also being used as a shelter, possibly for up to 1,300 people. 

The number of people reported having survived – put at 130 – has been unchanged for several days. 

Fighting continued Sunday for control of the port city in southeastern Ukraine that has become a focus of Russia’s assault on the country. 

“The city continues to be shelled both from the sky and the sea,” Andrushenko wrote on his Telegram channel.  

“It seems the occupiers are so eager to wipe out Mariupol that they are ready to cover themselves with fire.” 

He also said people trying to flee the city in their cars were being shot at by Russian forces.  

“Evacuation is difficult – difficult but moving. The Russians are doing everything to complicate things. Last night, cars trying to drive towards the village of Melekine [10 kilometers west of the city center] were fired upon.” 

Other residents looking to flee were having their cars seized from them at a checkpoint just outside Mariupol, he said. 

Despite the dangers, Ukraine’s government announced the humanitarian corridor linking Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia, outside Russian-occupied territory, had been agreed for Sunday.  

A council official reported that a column of eleven buses carrying almost 800 people had completed the second part of the journey, from Berdiansk to Zaporozhzhia, by midday Sunday. 

15 hr 19 min agoUkraine war is “a senseless massacre,” Pope Francis saysFrom CNN’s Nicola Rutuolo in Rome

Pope Francis speaks from his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, on Sunday, March 20. (Andrew Medichini/AP)Pope Francis called the war in Ukraine “a senseless massacre, where havoc and atrocities are repeated every day,” in his weekly Sunday address and blessing.

“I beg all the actors of the international community to make a real effort to put an end to this repugnant war,” the head of the Catholic Church told the crowd in St Peter’s Square after his Angelus Prayer.

“This week, missiles and bombs hit civilians, the elderly, children and pregnant mothers,” Pope Francis said, adding he visited injured children treated in Rome. “One of them is missing an arm, another one wounded in the head, innocent children,” the Pope said.

“Let us stay close to this battered people, embrace them with affection and with concrete commitment and prayer, and please do not get used to war and violence,” he added.Pope Francis invited “every faithful and every community” to join him on March 25, the day of the Christian Annunciation, “in carrying out a solemn act of consecration of humanity, especially of Russia and Ukraine.”

“All this is inhumane, indeed it is also sacrilegious because it goes against the sacredness of human life. Especially against defenseless human life, which must be respected and protected, not eliminated, and which comes before any strategy, let’s not forget, it is cruel, inhuman and sacrilegious,” he concluded.

13 hr 45 min agoIt’s 2 p.m. in Kyiv. Here’s what you need to knowResidents walk past debris and damaged buildings in Mariupol, Ukraine on March 18. (Stringer/Reuters)An art school being used as a shelter in the besieged city of Mariupol has been bombed by Russian forces, according to Mariupol city council in a statement on its Telegram channel.

About 400 people were sheltering in the building, which was destroyed in the attack, the council said. Information on casualties is still unclear but people remain trapped under the rubble.

It’s Sunday afternoon in Ukraine. Here are more of today’s latest developments around the conflict:

Ukraine claims death of general: Ukrainian officials say that another Russian commander has died during fighting, which they say would be the fifth Russian general to have been killed since the invasion on February 24. Gen. Oleg Mityaev, of Russia’s 150th Motorized Rifle Division, and members of his unit were killed by Ukrainian forces near Mariupol last week, according to a Telegram post shared by Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister. CNN cannot independently verify the Ukrainian claims.Russia claims use of hypersonic missiles: The Russian military claimed on Sunday t

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