LIVE – Updated at 05:57


Volodymyr Zelenskiy says new round of negotiations ahead but that deal would have to be subject to referendum; Joe Biden rejects suggestion he was calling for regime change in Moscow. Follow live updates.

Biden denies calling for regime change in Russia


US President Joe Biden has said that he was not calling for regime change in Russia when he said on Saturday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.

“Mr President, do you want Putin removed? Mr President, were you calling for regime change?” a reporter asked Biden as he left a church service in Washington on Sunday.

“No,” the president replied.

US President Joe Biden seen attending church in Washington where he denied calling for a regime change in Russia. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters© Provided by The Guardian US President Joe Biden seen attending church in Washington where he denied calling for a regime change in Russia. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/ReutersOn Saturday, Joe Biden condemned Vladimir Putin as a “butcher” who could no longer stay in power in a historic speech in Poland as Russian missiles rained down on Ukraine’s most pro-western city, just 40 miles from the Polish border, and Ukraine’s president called for more military aid.

“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden said in his most belligerent speech since the war began a month ago.

US officials later said that Biden had been talking about the need for Putin to lose power over Ukrainian territory and in the wider region.

Related: Biden: ‘butcher’ Putin cannot be allowed to stay in power

Video: Ukraine-Russia talks to continue Tuesday, says Zelenskiy (Reuters)

Ukraine prepared to discuss neutrality status as part of peace deal, Zelenskiy says


In an interview with Russian journalists and later published to the presidential office of Ukraine, president Zelenskiy said Ukraine was prepared to discuss its neutrality status as part of a peace deal.

The most important issues in the negotiations with Russia are security guarantees, neutrality and Ukraine’s nuclear-free status.”

Zelenskiy was speaking to Russian journalists in a 90 minute video call, an interview that the Russian authorities had pre-emptively warned Russian media to refrain from reporting. Zelenskiy spoke in Russian throughout.

We do not discuss ‘denazification’ and demilitarisation at all. I said that we will not sit at the negotiating table at all if we talk about some kind of demilitarisation, some kind of ‘denazification’. For me, these are completely incomprehensible things.”

In additional remarks aired on Sunday, he said:

Ukraine is prepared to discuss adopting a neutral status as part of a peace deal with Russia but it would have to be guaranteed by third parties and put to a referendum.”

Zelenskiy said Russia’s invasion had caused the destruction of Russian-speaking cities in Ukraine, and said the damage was worse than the Russian wars in Chechnya.

“Security guarantees and neutrality, non-nuclear status of our state. We are ready to go for it. This is the most important point,” Zelenskiy said.

Zelenskiy ‘looking for peace without delay’


In Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s latest national address, the Ukrainian president promised to work this week for new sanctions against Russia and spoke of an impending new round negotiations.


A new round of negotiations is ahead, because we are looking for peace. Really. Without delay. As I was informed, there is an opportunity and a need for a face-to-face meeting already in Turkey. This is not bad. Let’s look at the result.

Our priorities in the negotiations are known. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are beyond doubt. Effective security guarantees for our state are mandatory. Our goal is obvious – peace and the restoration of normal life in our native state as soon as possible.”


The Ukrainian president promised to continue to appeal to the parliaments of other countries, describing a busy diplomatic weeks ahead.

No one will be able to hide the Ukrainian interest somewhere in political offices or in bureaucratic loopholes.

In Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s latest national address, the Ukrainian president promised to work this week for new sanctions against Russia and spoke of an impending new round negotiations. Photograph: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Reuters© Provided by The Guardian In Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s latest national address, the Ukrainian president promised to work this week for new sanctions against Russia and spoke of an impending new round negotiations. Photograph: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/ReutersZelenskiy also spoke of the “global marathon for peace in Ukraine” where he thanks those who gathered in support of Ukraine across dozens of cities around the world.

An impressive number of people in the squares of Europe, on other continents. And this is extremely important. Because when people are in the square, politicians will no longer pretend not to hear us and you, not to hear Ukraine.”

We will not let anyone forget about our cities, about Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities that the Russian militaries are destroying. More and more people in the world are on the side of Ukraine, on the side of good in this battle with evil. And if politicians don’t know how to follow people, we will teach them. This is the basis of democracy and our national character.”

05:20 Julian Borger

The Guardian’s world affairs editor, Julian Borger, brings us this report on the drone operators who halted Russian convoy headed for Kyiv.

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One week into its invasion of Ukraine, Russia massed a 40-mile mechanised column in order to mount an overwhelming attack on Kyiv from the north.

But the convoy of armoured vehicles and supply trucks ground to a halt within days, and the offensive failed, in significant part because of a series of night ambushes carried out by a team of 30 Ukrainian special forces and drone operators on quad bikes, according to a Ukrainian commander.

The drone operators were drawn from an air reconnaissance unit, Aerorozvidka, which began eight years ago as a group of volunteer IT specialists and hobbyists designing their own machines and has evolved into an essential element in Ukraine’s successful David-and-Goliath resistance.

However, while Ukraine’s western backers have supplied thousands of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles and other military equipment, Aerorozvidka has been forced to resort to crowdfunding and a network of personal contacts in order to keep going, by getting hold of components such as advanced modems and thermal imaging cameras, in the face of export controls that prohibit them being sent to Ukraine.

Read the full story below.

Related: The drone operators who halted Russian convoy headed for Kyiv


The Ukrainian military has released its latest morning operational report as of 6am.

According to Ukraine’s general staff of the armed forces, Ukrainian forces continue to restrain Russian troops from taking control of key highways and settlements in the city of Kyiv.

A total of 5 enemy attacks were repelled from Donetsk and Luhansk with Ukrainian soldiers destroying 2 tanks, a combat machine infantry and one car, the report reads.

An earlier report published by Ukraine’s ministry of defence claimed Russia was forced to withdrawal troops that were surrounding Kyiv after suffering significant losses.

The withdrawal “significantly decreased” the intensity of Russia’s advance and forced some units to regroup in Belarus, the general staff of the armed forces said.

Officials added that they believed Russia was also transporting ‘Iskander’ missiles to Kalinkovichy in the Gomel region of south-eastern Belarus.

Ukrainian servicemen stand in the village of Lukyanivka outside Kyiv. Photograph: Marko Đurica/Reuters© Provided by The Guardian Ukrainian servicemen stand in the village of Lukyanivka outside Kyiv. Photograph: Marko Đurica/Reuters



Hello it’s Samantha Lock with you as we deliver all the latest news from Ukraine. It is approaching 7am in Kyiv.

Here is where the situation currently stands:

  • US president Joe Biden has denied he is calling for regime change in Russia, after he said during a visit to Poland that Putin “cannot remain in power”. When asked by a reporter if he wanted to see Russian president Vladimir Putin removed from office he said “no”The French president, Emmanuel Macron, had already distanced himself from Biden’s comments, while the UK cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi distanced the UK government from his remarks.
  • Representatives from Russia and Ukraine will meet this week for a new round of talks aimed at ending the war. Ukraine said the two sides would meet in Turkey on Monday.
  • The Ukrainian military claimed Russia has withdrawn troops that were surrounding Kyiv after suffering significant losses in its latest operational report.
  • Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy used a video interview with independent Russian media outlets to signal his willingness to discuss having Ukraine adopt a “neutral status”, and also make compromises about the status of the eastern Donbas region, in order to secure a peace agreement with Russia. But he said he was not willing to discuss Ukrainian demilitarisation, and that Ukrainians would need to vote in a referendum to approve their country adopting a neutral status.
  • In a separate late-night video, Zelenskiy promised to work this week for new sanctions against Russia and spoke of the impending new round negotiations, saying “we are looking for peace without delay.”
  • Zelenskiy also claimed that 2,000 children from Mariupol have been taken by Russia, according to a press release published by the president’s office late on Sunday. “According to our data, more than 2,000 children were deported. Which means they were abducted. Because we do not know the exact locations of all these children. There were children with and without parents. It’s a catastrophe, it’s horrible.” Zelenskiy said the city remained blocked by the Russian military, describing the situation as a humanitarian catastrophe. “Food, medicine, and water can’t be delivered. The Russian troops are shelling humanitarian convoys and killing drivers.”
  • Ukraine’s deputy prime minister has accused Russia of “irresponsible” acts around the occupied Chernobyl power station that could send radiation across much of Europe, and urged the United Nations to dispatch a mission to assess the risks in an update to her Telegram account.
  • The UK Ministry of Defence said Russia is “effectively isolating Ukraine from international maritime trade”, in an update late Sunday. It also said Russian naval forces were continuing to conduct sporadic missile strikes against targets across Ukraine.
  • Russia’s communications and internet regulator said in a public statement it would investigate the outlets that interviewed Zelenskiy, and has told them not to distribute the interview.
  • Putin is seeking to split Ukraine into two, emulating the postwar division between North and South Korea, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief has said. In comments that raise the prospect of a long and bitter frozen conflict, General Kyrylo Budanov, warned of bloody guerrilla warfare.
  • The French foreign minister said on Sunday there would be “collective guilt” if nothing was done to help civilians in Mariupol, the Ukrainian city besieged by Russian forces.
  • The UK government’s top legal adviser has appointed a war crimes lawyer to advise Ukraine on the Russian invasion. The attorney general, Suella Braverman, announced on Sunday that Sir Howard Morrison QC would act as an independent adviser to the Ukrainian prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, Press Association reported.
  • Germany is considering purchasing a missile defence system to shield against a potential attack from Russia, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said late on Sunday.
  • Despite reports that Zelenskiy had been pushing to speak on video during the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles tonight, attendees instead observed a 30-second silence as tribute to the people of Ukraine.
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