Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) attends a meeting with UN chief Antonio Guterres in Moscow. Reuters
Gulf Today Report
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Russian President Vladimir Putin met one-on-one on Tuesday for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine, and the United Nations said they agreed on arranging evacuations from a besieged steel plant in the battered city of Mariupol.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the Russian leader and UN chief discussed "proposals for humanitarian assistance and evacuation of civilians from conflict zones, namely in relation to the situation in Mariupol.”
Guterres, Putin also agreed in principle, he said, that the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross should be involved in the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal steel complex where Ukrainian defenders in the southeastern city are making a dogged stand.
Discussions will be held with the UN humanitarian office and the Russian Defence Ministry on the evacuation, Dujarric said.
Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Moscow on Tuesday. Reuters
During the meeting, which the UN said lasted nearly two hours, Putin and Guterres sat at opposite ends of a long white table in a room with gold curtains bordered in red. No one else was at the table.
Russia this month accused Ukraine of attacking a fuel depot in Belgorod with helicopters and opening fire on several villages in the province.
The Belgorod province borders Ukraine's Luhansk, Sumy and Kharkiv regions, all of which have seen heavy fighting since Russia invaded Ukraine two months ago.
Separately, Roman Starovoyt, the governor of Russia's Kursk province, which also borders Ukraine, said that explosions had been heard in Kursk city early on Wednesday which were most likely the sounds of air defence systems firing.
Antonio Guterres listens to Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday. AP
In Voronezh, the administrative centre of another province adjacent to Ukraine, Russia's TASS news agency cited an emergencies ministry official as saying that two blasts had been heard and the authorities were investigating.
Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it called a "special operation" to degrade its military capabilities and root out what it calls dangerous nationalists. Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and the West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.
On Saturday, a Ukrainian military unit released a video reportedly taken two days earlier in which women and children holed up underground in the plant, some for as long as two months, said they longed to see the sun.
Meanwhile, a series of blasts were heard in the early hours of Wednesday in three Russian provinces bordering Ukraine, authorities said, and an ammunition depot in the Belgorod province caught fire around the same time.
Belgorod regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said a fire at the ammunition depot near the Staraya Nelidovka village had been extinguished and no civilians have been injured.
Guterres will head to Moscow on Tuesday and meet Putin as well as having a working meeting and lunch with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Eri Kaneko, Guterres' associate spokesperson, told a news briefing in New York on Friday.
Training his fire on Putin as he addressed the General Assembly, US President Joe Biden accused him of "shamelessly" violating the UN Charter with a war aimed at "extinguishing Ukraine's right to exist as a state."
"The real toll is likely to be much higher," Liz Throssell, a spokesperson for the UN human rights office (OHCHR), told a briefing, adding that 253 of the casualties were in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine.
The southern port of Mariupol has become a focal point of Russia's assault and lies largely in ruins with bodies lying on the streets, but attacks were also reported to have intensified on the second city Kharkiv on Monday.
In the details, a witness recorded in the video clip, a Kuwaiti citizen assaulting the worker, while he grabbed him by his clothes and beat him, shouting in his face, “a swindler.”
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said: “We are working to achieve integration in our efforts to protect society from risks and facilitate trade movement not only at the local level but also at the global level, in cooperation with the security authorities in the relevant entities to present an international unique model that distinguishes Dubai on the world map”.
Seven side sessions took place on the sidelines of the second day of the Dubai Metaverse Assembly, which convened more than 600 delegates at the Museum of the Future and AREA 2071, Emirates Towers, to lead discussions on the metaverse.
The case dated back to last January when an Asian filed a complaint in which he stated that he had been assaulted and robbed and his girlfriend was run over in a parking lot of a building in which he lived in Dubai Investments Park.