Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the Russian withdrawal from Kherson as “the beginning of the end of the war” on Monday, as he paid tribute to soldiers in the newly liberated southern city. The recapture of Kherson after a fierce offensive that forced Russia to withdraw its forces from the city was one of Ukraine’s biggest successes so far in the nearly nine-month invasion. Read FRANCE 24’s live blog for the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).06:53: Most G20 members strongly condemn war in Ukraine, draft declaration says
A draft declaration by leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed that it exacerbated the fragility of the global economy.
“There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions,” said the draft declaration, which was confirmed by a European diplomat. The declaration has not yet been adopted.
“We recognize that the G20 is not the forum to resolve security issues, and we recognize that security issues can have significant implications for the global economy,” it said.06:07: Zelensky urges G20 to adopt Ukraine’s peace plan
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday urged the Group of 20 (G20) major economies meeting in Indonesia to step up their leadership and end Russia’s war in his country under a peace plan he has proposed.
“We will not allow Russia to wait and build up its forces,” he said via video link to the summit on the Indonesian island of Bali, according to a copy of his speech reviewed by Reuters.
“I am convinced that now is the time when Russia’s war must and can be stopped.”
Ukrainian forces have made advances in recent weeks against Russian troops in the east and south, and last week recaptured the city of Kherson, the only regional capital Russia had captured since the February invasion.05:48: Residents of Kherson celebrate their freedom
France 24’s Luke Shrago reports from the city of Kherson, where locals are celebrating the Russian withdrawal.
Many residents have neither heat nor running water, but they are relieved that the Russian occupation is over.01:50 4:04: Macron urges Paris and Beijing to work together on Ukraine
French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese leader Xi Jinping shook hands as they began discussions on the sidelines of the G20 summit, which is expected to press Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and deal with global fallout from the war.
We must “join forces to respond… to international crises such as Russia’s war in Ukraine,” Macron told Xi.
On Monday, the French presidency said Macron would tell the Chinese president that it is in “your interest” to pressure Russia to return to the negotiating table on the Ukraine conflict.
Xi, meanwhile, made no mention of the conflict in his opening remarks, calling more broadly for the two countries to “uphold the spirit of independence, autonomy, openness and cooperation”.
The pair met a day after Xi held marathon talks with US President Joe Biden, in which the leaders vowed to prevent their rivalry from spilling over into outright conflict.03:46: European leader urges world, China to pressure Russia
The president of the European Council on Tuesday called on global powers to step up pressure on Russia over its war on Ukraine, including Moscow’s biggest supporter China, saying this week’s meeting of the world’s biggest economies was crucial to stopping Moscow’s drive to “use food and energy as weapon.”
Charles Michel, speaking to reporters on the first day of the Group of 20 meeting in Bali, said the nine-month war waged by Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has disrupted lives around the world, as food and energy prices boom and economies stagnate.
“Russia’s war affects us all, no matter where we live, from Europe to Africa or the Middle East, and the single best way to end the acute food and energy crisis is for Russia to end this senseless war and respect the UN Charter,” said Michael. “The Kremlin has decided to weaponize food, fueling hunger, poverty and instability.”
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)