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the Austrian chancellor in Moscow, looming Russian offensive in the East, the point this Monday

In anticipation of the Russian offensive, Ukrainian soldiers and members of the Territorial Defense were on Sunday strengthening their positions and digging new trenches in the rural area of ​​Barvinkove, in the east of the country. The verges were cleared and anti-tank obstacles were placed at all intersections. As the population tries to flee the eastern regions of Ukraine to escape the fighting being announced there, the airstrikes and bombings continue: on Sunday they killed at least two in Kharkov (east), the country’s second largest city, and the suburbs, according to regional governor Oleg Sinegoubov.

The search for bodies continues

In the vicinity of Kiev, which has been occupied by the Russian army for several weeks, the search for bodies continues. “To date, we have killed 1,222 people just for the Kiev region alone,” Attorney General Iryna Venediktova told Britain’s Sky News channel. She did not specify whether the bodies found were solely those of civilians, but she also reported that 5,600 investigations into alleged war crimes have been opened since the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24.

In the only city of BoutchaNorthwest of Kiev, which has become a symbol of the atrocities of the war in Ukraine, nearly 300 people have been buried in mass graves, according to a report released by Ukrainian authorities on April 2. It is in this context that, after a visit to Ukraine on Saturday, the Austrian Chancellor is expected in Moscow on Monday, where he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. Karl Nehammer stated that he “intends to do everything possible to take measures in favor of peace”, but acknowledges that the chances of this are slim.

“A risky mission”

This trip to Moscow is “a risky mission” but also a “window of dialogue,” he explained, believing “personal diplomacy” is in order. He plans to talk to the Kremlin about “war crimes” in Boutcha, where he went on Saturday. “Boutcha was not made in a day. For years, Russia’s political elites and propaganda have incited hatred, dehumanized Ukrainians, nurtured Russian superiority and paved the way for these atrocities,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

But in an interview with the American channel NBC On Sunday evening, Dmytro Kouleba nevertheless declared himself open to negotiations with Moscow. “If sitting with the Russians can help me avoid at least one massacre like in Bucha, or at least one attack like in Kramatorsk, then I must seize this opportunity,” he said.

New punishments?

President Zelensky called on Westerners to “follow the lead of the United Kingdom”, whose Prime Minister Boris Johnson did a surprise visit to Ukraine on Saturday, by imposing “a total embargo on Russian hydrocarbons”. European Union foreign ministers, meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, will consider a sixth sanctions package against Moscow, which, however, will not affect oil and gas purchases.

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