Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, spoke over the phone for an hour with Xi Jinping, the leader of China. Zelenskyy emphasized there can be “no peace at the expense of territorial compromises” as the two addressed “possible cooperation to reach a fair and sustainable peace deal for Ukraine”. Pavlo Riabikin, a former minister of strategic industries, was chosen by Zelenskyy as Kyiv’s new ambassador to China. Following Xi’s conversation with Zelenskyy, the Russian foreign ministry noted China’s readiness to participate in a peace process for Ukraine. The Black Sea grain pact, slated to expire next month, has prompted Moscow to raise several concerns, according to Russia’s representative to the UN in Geneva. Still, little meaningful progress has been made in resolving these issues.
While Rome was hosting a conference on rebuilding Ukraine, Italy’s economy minister claimed the cost of Kyiv’s restoration was likely to exceed $400 billion over ten years. Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, issued an order granting two international energy companies temporary authority over their Russian operations. Once the two countries sat down to talk about peace, anything could be discussed, according to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who renewed his proposal for a “peace group” to mediate a deal between Russia and Ukraine. The European Union, according to Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, is “becoming militarized at a record rate” and differs little from NATO. Rumours that Vladimir Putin spends a lot of time hiding out in a nuclear bunker and employs lookalikes were denied by the Kremlin.
According to the Ukrainian defence ministry, Russia shelled eight Ukrainian areas over the past 24 hours, resulting in 16 injuries and two fatalities in the Kharkiv region. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner organization, predicted that Ukraine’s counteroffensive would likely begin after May 2. He noted that the Russian defence ministry had yet to supply his mercenary men with critical ammunition. Numerous prisoners of war were swapped between Russia and Ukraine. Moscow claimed that 40 people had returned, whilst Kiev said that 44 had been released from Russian captivity, including two civilians. Heavy fighting, which had been going on for months, was reported to be still in the destroyed city of Bakhmut by the British defence ministry. Journalist Corrado Zunino, who works for the newspaper La Repubblica, reportedly suffered a shoulder injury during a drone attack in Kherson, according to Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani.