“Conflicts and confrontations” in no one’s interest, says China’s Xi JinpingReading Time: 2 minutes
Chinese president Xi Jinping spoke to US President Joe Biden today for an hour and 50 minutes on Friday about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In their video call, Xi said “conflicts and confrontations” were in no one’s interest and that China and the US should work for world peace, according to the Guardian.
Biden also expressed his support for a diplomatic solution to the crisis, but aimed at dissuading Beijing from providing material support to Russia under the circumstances, informing Xi of the “implication and consequences” if China did so.
Also on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed a crowd of thousands of cheering Russians in a packed stadium at a war rally to commemorate the annexation of Crimea. He spoke of Moscow’s “special operation” in Ukraine. The BBC spoke to numerous attendees, who were reportedly pressured – even forced – by their employers to attend.
Hundreds of people remain trapped in the bomb shelter of a theatre in Mariupol after it was hit by a Russian airstrike on Wednesday. Although 130 people have been rescued, rescue work there is ongoing but has been hindered due to a breakdown in services. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said that rescue work there continued despite the shelling and difficulties.
No one was hurt when Russian missiles struck an aircraft repair plant in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Friday morning, wrote the Guardian. The BBC reported at least 45 people died in a missile attack in the southern city of Mykolaiv, while emergency services struggled to put out a fire at one of Kharkiv’s biggest shopping centres.
Al Jazeera writes that according to the UN’s migration agency there are almost 6.5 million internally displaced people in Ukraine, while over 3 million have left the country. The UN rights office says 816 civilians have been killed since the start of the invasion on 24 February, but the Guardian reports that the real death toll is probably much higher.
Of those deaths, 109 children have died in the conflict – that’s why exactly that many empty prams (AKA baby strollers) were placed in Lviv’s main square on Friday to draw attention to the fate of Ukraine’s kids.