Putin, Scholz speak about Ukraine over phone

Russian President Putin tells German Chancellor Scholz that West ignores 'war crimes' of Ukrainian military

MOSCOW

Russian President Vladimir Putin continued to discuss the situation in Ukraine with Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a phone talk on Friday, the Kremlin said.

“The Russian president drew attention to the missile attacks by the Ukrainian military on the residential areas of Donetsk and Makeyevka, which led to a great loss of life. These war crimes were ignored in the West,” the statement said.

Putin told Scholz that the Russian armed forces do everything possible to preserve the lives of civilians, including by organizing safe corridors to leave cities in the war zone.

“On March 17, as a result of the humanitarian operation carried out in Mariupol, about 43,000 people were evacuated,” the statement said.

About the peace talks, Putin said the Ukrainian delegation is trying to delay them, putting forward new proposals.

“Nevertheless, the Russian side is ready to continue searching for solutions in line with its well-known principled approaches,” the statement said.

The Russia-Ukraine war, which started on Feb. 24, has drawn international condemnation, led to financial restrictions on Moscow, and spurred an exodus of global firms from Russia.

At least 780 civilians have been killed and 1,252 injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, according to the UN, while noting that conditions on the ground make it difficult to verify the true number.

Over 3.2 million people have also fled to neighboring countries, said the UN refugee agency.

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