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Peace talks in Istanbul. What Ukrainian side is seeking

Today face-to-face negotiations between representatives of the Ukrainian and Russian sides began in Istanbul at 10:30. Ukrainian officials hope to achieve a resolution to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in their country, as well as a ceasefire agreement.

However, both sides have suggested that officials are not yet close to an agreement, according to CNBC.

Meanwhile, the U.K. has said that Russian troops still pose a "significant threat" to Kyiv, and noted that Moscow is currently reorganizing and resetting its forces.

The head of the Russian delegation hopes that in a few hours the representatives will make statements.

Lavrov and Kuleba. Exchange of views

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said yesterday on Ukrainian TV that "nothing is agreed if everything is not agreed."

"At the moment, there are no firm agreements on fundamental issues. There is an exchange of thoughts, positions, creative ideas, but there are no decisions yet. At the same time, agreement on one issue does not mean that the agreement as a whole will work in a single format," the Minister said.

He clarified that the minimum that Ukraine hoped for was a solution to the humanitarian crises that arose as a result of the war. The maximum hoped for by the country's officials was a ceasefire. "Things can change at any moment," he said.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a TV interview on Monday that the delegations "still do not have a clear understanding on our main items."

Ukraine’s successes on fronts

Ukrainian forces continue to launch localized counterattacks northwest of Kyiv.

"These attacks had some success, and the Russians were driven back from a number of positions. However, Russia still poses a serious threat to the city due to its strike capabilities," the UK Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

The Ministry added that the besieged port city of Mariupol remains under Ukrainian control despite continued Russian shelling.

"In other locations, Russian forces maintain blocking positions in an attempt to reorganize and regroup their forces," British officials said.

Civilian casualties

According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has resulted in heavy civilian casualties. Since the outbreak of the conflict on 24 February, 2,975 civilian casualties have been recorded. From February 24 to March 27, 1,151 people were killed, of which 103 are children.

Most of the reported civilian casualties were caused by "explosives with a large area coverage effect, including heavy artillery and multiple rocket launcher attacks, as well as missile and air strikes."

However, the UNHCR warned that the actual figures are much higher as information from "some locations where there is intense fighting has been delayed and many reports are still awaiting confirmation".

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