As the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine entered day 34, the Kremlin announced that they will use nuclear weapon under certain circumstances only. In the latest development, talks between Ukraine and Russia began in Turkey without a handshake, Ukrainian television reported, as fighting continued. Kyiv has said it is seeking a ceasefire without compromising on territory or sovereignty.
Reportedly a Russian rocket hit the regional administration building in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv, trapping 11 people under the rubble, the governor said on Tuesday.
Russia’s Defence Ministry said its forces destroyed a large fuel depot in western Ukraine’s Rivne region with cruise missiles. Ukrainian forces are continuing counter attacks to the northwest of Kyiv, and Russia has kept up heavy shelling of Mariupol, British military intelligence said.
Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with PBS Newshour said that Russia will only use nuclear weapons when there is a “threat to the existence of the state”.
He further added, “We have a security concept that very clearly states that only when there is a threat to the existence of the state, we can and will actually use nuclear weapons to eliminate the threat to the existence of our country.”
Days after Russian troops invaded Ukraine, Russian President Putin had announced on 28 February that he had put the country’s strategic nuclear forces on high alert, triggering global alarm.
On 25 March, US President Joe Biden had also said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will respond if Russia uses chemical weapons in Ukraine.
‘No nuclear weapon will be used in the Ukraine war’
In the interview, Dmitry Peskov also said that any outcome of Russia’s ‘operation’ in Ukraine would not be a reason for use of nuclear weapons.
“Any outcome of the operation [in Ukraine], of course, is not a reason for usage of a nuclear weapon,” Peskov said.
Biden’s remark a cause for ‘alarm’
Meanwhile, on US President Joe Biden’s ‘Putin cannot remain in power’ remark, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was a cause for ‘alarm’.
Dmitry Peskov said, “This is a statement that is certainly alarming. We will continue to track the statements of the US president in the most attentive way.”
Latest development on warfront
Ukraine’s armed forces have claimed that Russian troops are continuing to target fuel depots and terrorise civilians by taking them hostage.
Ukraine’s prosecutors office said 144 children have been killed and more than 220 wounded since Russia started its invasion. Reuters cannot confirm the figures. * More than a month into the war, more than 3.8 million people have fled abroad and thousands have been killed and injured.
Russian attacks near Ukraine’s capital Kyiv have cut power to more than 80,000 homes, officials said.
The Russian invasion that began on February 24 has resulted in an exodus of more 3.5 million people from Ukraine to other nations. Several civilians, including children, and many more soldiers – from both sides – have lost their lives in the war.
(With inputs from agencies)
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