ALERT: Sourced from Russian State-Controlled Media
SouthFront.org – On March 29th, the Russian and Ukrainian delegations came to Turkey for another round of negotiations. Ukrainian and Russian delegations have held three rounds of peace talks in-person in Belarus since Feb. 28, and the fourth one started on March 14 in a format of the video conference.
No significant progress was made during the first rounds. The only point agreed by the two sides was the security of humanitarian passes from the war-torn cities, but in fact, no joint measures have been implemented to secure civilians so far. No agreement on other topics of negotiations was reported.
A member of the Ukrainian negotiating delegation, David Arahamia, clarified that there will be a three-day round of negotiations in Turkey during March 28-30.
The Russian delegation is headed by Russian presidential adviser Vladimir Medinsky. Ukraine is represented by Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, advisor to the head of the presidential office Mikhail Podolyak, and representative of the parliamentary faction Servants of the People David Arahamiya.
The Kremlin confirmed the change of the place of negotiations after a phone call of the Russian President with his Turkish counterpart on March 27th.
According to the press services of the Turkish president, during the conversation, Erdogan told Putin that a ceasefire and peace between Russia and Ukraine must be achieved as soon as possible, adding that Turkish readiness to “contribute in every possible way during this process.”
As the Russian-Ukrainian conflict escalated, Turkey — as a major regional player and a member of NATO – became an increasingly important actor. Istanbul has deep strategic and economic ties with both Ukraine and Russia, and the Montreux Convention gives Ankara control over the straits connecting the Black and Mediterranean Seas.
Implementing its strategic position of a “bridge between” the east and the west, Turkey has a cautious political approach since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, playing on both sides and securing its national interests. Turkey has publicly opposed the hostilities in Ukraine but has not joined the Western sanctions against Moscow. This gives Turkey the space to implement diplomatic mediation initiatives without risking its relations with Russia and Ukraine.
Amid the ongoing negotiations, hostilities continue on the front lines around Ukraine.
No strategic victories were declared by any side for more than a week. In terms of tactical maneuvers, there were no particular strategic accomplishments recorded. The Russian and Ukrainian armies engaged in exchanges of fire on all fronts during that night.
The main developments are reported in the city of Mariupol. The joint DPR and Russian forces are moping up the central districts in the city. The remaining nationalist forces were cur into groups, what allowed the acceleration of the DPR and Russian Armies. The main stronghold of the Azov battalion remains the Azovstal. It seems that only the surrender of the Azov regiment could preserve one of the largest industrial facilities in Ukraine.
Late on March 28, the Russian Ministry of Defence reported that the Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter, which was heading for the emergency evacuation of the Azov national battalion commanders who had abandoned their subordinates, has been shot down near Mariupol, 5 kilometers from the coastline over the Sea of Azov.
Without any significant advances, the offensive of the joint forces of the Russian army and the DPR People’s Militia continues from the direction of Gorlovka. Fighting began for the village of Novoselovka.
South of Izyum, the Russian Armed Forces continue their offensive toward Slavyansk. Currently, there are battles near the village of Dolina, and part of the troops of the Russian army is advancing towards the village of Krestishche.
In their turn, units of the Luhansk People’s Republic took control over the settlements of Ivanovka, Novosadovoe, and reached the line of Novolyublino, Terny.
The other Donbass front lines remained almost without changes.
In the Kiev region, the AFU repelled Russian forces from several positions near the town of Irpen to the West of the capital. In the eastern direction, the Ukrainian military claimed control over the village of Lukyanovka.
In their turn, the Russian troops destroyed the fourth operational brigade of the National Guard of Ukraine, which was based in the city of Gostomel. Dozens of Ukrainian tanks were destroyed and abandoned.
Meanwhile, Russian missiles hit Ukrainian military facilities nonstop.
On the evening of March 28, high-precision air-launched cruise missiles destroyed a large fuel base near the settlement of Klevan in the Rivne region. Fuel supplies for Ukrainian military equipment to the suburbs of Kiev were interrupted.