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Moscow-backed Orthodox priest under house arrest. A Kyiv district court placed Russian-led Orthodox Metropolitan Pavlo (Petro Lebid) under house arrest. He is charged with inciting hatred and justifying Russia’s war against Ukraine. The arrest will last for 60 days.
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General Staff: Ukrainian forces repel 70 Russian attacks. Russian troops are reportedly concentrating their efforts on conducting offensives toward Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Marinka in Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainian forces repelled more than 70 Russian attacks in those directions on March 31, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces said in its morning update.
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Russian attack injures 2 in Orikhiv, Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Two employees of one the largest electricity suppliers of Ukraine, Zaporizhzhiaoblenergo, were wounded on the morning of March 31 in the town of Orikhiv in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia Oblast as a result of a Russian attack, Zaporizhzhiaoblenergo said on Facebook.

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WSJ: China's Xi Jinping to speak to Zelensky after his Moscow visit

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 13, 2023 3:45 PM 2 min read

Chinese leader Xi Jinping plans to speak with President Volodymyr Zelensky after he meets with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in Moscow next week, the Wall Street Journal reported on March 13, citing people familiar with the issue.

The first conversation between the Chinese and Ukrainian leaders since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion is expected to occur online, WSJ wrote.

According to the publication, Xi's visit to Russia and potential talk with Zelensky reflect Beijing's desire to become more involved in mediating an end to Russia's war against Ukraine.

The sources also told WSJ that the Chinese president was weighing traveling to other European countries as part of his trip to Russia, though his full itinerary has yet to be finalized.

Earlier the same day, Reuters also reported that Xi's visit to Moscow could take place as early as next week.

Shortly after China's Foreign Ministry released a 12-point statement that detailed Beijing's stance on achieving a "political settlement" to resolve Russia's war on Feb. 24, Zelensky said he wanted to meet with China's Xi, which would "benefit our states and security in the world."

Ukraine's president also said he did not consider China's proposal a peace plan, adding that the document included respect for international law, which already made it possible to work with China. Beijing's statement was criticized by U.S. President Joe Biden, who claimed that it would likely only work in Russia's favor, and other top Western officials.

In its statement, China pledged to "continue" playing a constructive role in facilitating this outcome. However, it also urged the abandonment of "Cold War mentality" and "unilateral sanctions," terms that Beijing often uses to criticize the West's response to the war.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg cast doubt on China's proposed peace plan for Ukraine, pointing to the country's failure to explicitly condemn the Russian invasion

Scholz urges China not to arm Russia, says allies negotiating security guarantees for Ukraine
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“We truly need popular support, especially during wartime. Being not dependent on a single money bag telling journalists what to do has always been quite a task in Ukraine. In wartime, that’s even more important.”
Illia Ponomarenko, defense reporter
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