Mar 29, 2022 - World

Peace talks end as Ukrainian forces push back Russia's military outside Kyiv

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks ahead of the peace talks between delegations from Russia and Ukraine at Dolmabahce Presidential Office in Istanbul, Turkiye on March 29.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks ahead of peace talks between delegations from Russia and Ukraine at Dolmabahce Presidential Office in Istanbul on Tuesday. Photo: Arda Kucukkaya/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Ukrainian and Russian officials met in Istanbul on Tuesday for the first in-person peace talks in almost three weeks, as fighting continued across Ukraine.

What they're saying: Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak told reporters afterward a key issue in discussions "was the agreement on international security guarantees" for Ukraine. "Only with this agreement we can end the war as Ukraine needs," he said.

  • The other "is the issue of a ceasefire, so that all humanitarian problems can be resolved," Podolyak said.
  • The Kremlin said the prospects for an agreement with Ukraine's government would become clear in the coming days, per the Washington Post, which notes Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said "the main targets of the first stage of the operation have been achieved."
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opened the talks earlier by calling on "both sides to stop this tragedy," per the BBC.

The big picture: In Ukraine, the country's military pushed back Russia's forces northwest of Kyiv and Mariupol remained under Ukrainian control despite Russian bombardment earlier Tuesday, according to a U.K. intelligence update.

  • Ukrainian officials said Monday they'd retaken the town of Irpin, in the Kyiv region and areas in the country's north, including the town of Trostianets, some 20 miles from the border with Russia.

Yes, but: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said late Monday that "Russian troops control the north of Kyiv region" and that "Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv regions, Donbas, southern Ukraine — the situation everywhere remains tense, very difficult."

  • "We still have to fight, we have to endure," Zelensky added in his televised address.

Go deeper: No clear pathway to peace in Ukraine

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