Russia has announced a ceasefire in the major Ukranian cities of Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumy from 10 am (Moscow time) today, according to Russian media Sputnik.
The move comes after a request from French President Emmanuel Macron, Sputnik added.
Russia forces continue carrying out shelling in Sumy, Kharkiv, and Kyiv on the 13th day of its invasion into Ukraine.
Notably, the third round of peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia are likely to take place today, March 7. PM Modi is scheduled to speak with both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the day. Other world leaders like the German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Naftali Bennett have met with Putin to discuss his invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier yesterday, Macron dialed Russian President Vladimir Putin and spoke on 'preserving the integrity of Ukraine's civilian nuclear plants'. He added that demands like a ceasefire and the protection of civilians was also discussed. Russia and Ukraine had agreed to a ceasefire twice to create safe corridors for civilians in Mariupol and Volnovakha to exit war-torn cities - but was abandoned after Russia began shelling again. Russia accused Ukraine of 'sabotaging the ceasefire'
Yesterday, Zelenskyy slammed what he described as ‘weak’ NATO for its decision of not implementing a no-fly zone adding that ‘people will die because of you’. He asked EU nations, US, UK and the allied nations to provide Kyiv with fighter jets so that the nation can counter Russian missiles. He has also agreed to direct talks with Putin, as Russia prepares to bomb Ukraine's defense complex - close to cities.
On the other hand, Putin told Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that his campaign in Ukraine was going according to plan. Putin, who ordered the invasion of Ukraine said that he would not end the military operation until Kyiv stopped fighting and his demands were met. Putin has also threatened that Ukraine's statehood was in jeopardy due to their resistance and accused the West for supply arms to the nation. Over 1 million people have already fled from Ukraine to bordering nations - Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Moldova, as Russia combats Ukrainian troops in Sumy, Poltava, Mariupol, Kharkiv, Kherson including heavy air attacks, missiles from sea, air and land.
Russia has already taken over two Ukrainian nuclear power plants - Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhya and is heading towards Yuzhnoukrainsk. Over 1 million Ukrainians have fled and many are housed in bomb shelters.