Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for meaningful and comprehensive peace talks with Moscow, saying Russia would otherwise need generations to recover from losses suffered during the war.
As per a report by Reuters, Zelenskiy released a video saying Ukraine wants meaningful and honest negotiations with Moscow on peace and security without delay.
"I want everyone to hear me now, especially in Moscow. The time has come for a meeting, it is time to talk," he said in a video address released in the early hours of Saturday. "The time has come to restore territorial integrity and justice for Ukraine. Otherwise, Russia's losses will be such that it will take you several generations to recover."
Zelenskiy said Russian forces were deliberately blocking humanitarian supplies to cities under attack.
"This is a deliberate tactic ... This is a war crime and they will answer for it, 100%," he said.
Zelenskiy said there was no information about how many people had died after a theatre in the city of Mariupol, where hundreds of people had been sheltering, was struck on Wednesday. More than 130 people had been rescued so far, he said.
The two sides have been involved in talks for weeks with no sign of a breakthrough.
Operations were on to rescue hundreds of civilians feared trapped under the wreckage of a bombed theatre, as local forces battled against Russian troops across the country.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Kyiv of "war crimes" in a call with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, saying that Moscow is doing "everything possible" to avoid civilian deaths in Ukraine. Mr Macron expressed "extreme concern" over the fate of Mariupol, urging "a lifting of the siege and humanitarian access" to the city.