After meeting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Moscow, Vladimir Putin says that negotiations with Ukraine will continue in an online format and hopes that the talks will yield a positive result.
With reference to the current situation in Mariupol, which he describes as “complicated and tragic,” he adds there are no longer Russian military operations taking place in the besieged city.
Ukrainian troops using Mariupol civilians as human shields
Regarding the besieged port city of Mariupol, the Russian president claims Ukrainian soldiers are holding civilians as human shields at the Azovstal steel plant and Russian forces were not stopping them leaving.
Russia has made this allegation about human shields before. The BBC has not seen evidence to support the claim.
We still expect a diplomatic solution
Putin restated at length his justification for invading Ukraine.
But he told Antonio Guterres: “We still expect and hope we will be able to achieve agreements through a diplomatic channel.”
Putin said recent talks in Istanbul had reached a “breakthrough” but he suggested they had been derailed after the reports of atrocities against civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.
He claimed these were a “provocation” and added “the Russian army had nothing to do with it”.
But he said talks continue and he hopes they reach a positive result.