Ukraine updates: Zelenskyy invites China's Xi to visit

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy extended the invitation to Russia's ally during an interview with the Associated Press

Ukraine updates: Zelenskyy invites China's Xi to visit
Ukraine updates: Zelenskyy invites China's Xi to visit


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Wednesday that he had invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit his country.

"We are ready to see him here," Zelenskyy told the Associated Press.

Xi, who recently visited his "dear friend" Russian President Vladimir Putin on a state visit to Moscow, has not spoken with Zelenskyy since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, 2022.

"I want to speak with him. I had contact with him before full-scale war. But during all this year, more than one year, I didn't have," said Zelenskyy.

The Ukrainian president also suggested that despite China's clear alliance with Russia, Beijing had not given Vladimir Putin what he wanted during the recent Moscow meeting, namely weapons and ammunition to replace dwindling Russian stockpiles.

Zelenskyy pointed to Putin's announcement that Russia would move tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus as a distraction to divert attention away from the fact that China had not given any such assistance: "What does it mean? It means the [Chinese] visit was not good for Russia."

Still, China, which has publicly proclaimed neutrality on the war in Ukraine, has remained closely allied with Moscow, both economically and diplomatically.

China has also put forth what it claims is a 12-point plan for "a political resolution of the Ukraine crisis."

Ukraine has voiced appreciation for China's involvement, yet President Zelenskyy has been clear that he would only consider negotiations after a withdrawal of invading Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.

The US, for instance, has scoffed at the Chinese plan in light of the fact that Beijing has refused to condemn Russia's naked aggression vis-a-vis its smaller neighbor.

Washington claims that to accept the Chinese proposal would be akin to accepting Russian territorial occupation and simply act as a mechanism to allow Russia's military a chance to regroup.

Beijing's plan calls for de-escalation and an eventual cease-fire.

Here are some of the other notable developments concerning the war in Ukraine on Wednesday, March 29:

Ukrainian Forces shell Russian-controlled Melitopol, disrupting resupply chain

Ukrainian troops have begun shelling the Russian-controlled southeastern Ukrainian city of Melitopol according to media reports. Power outages have been reported and witnesses say the city's train depot has been damaged. The city, located some 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, has been under Russian occupation for more than a year.

Melitopol is a key Russian resupply hub as it is strategically located between Crimea and other cities in the region. Military observers say they expect to see a Ukrainian offensive soon, suggesting Kyiv's troops could attempt to reach the Black Sea (via Melitopol) to drive a wedge between occupying Russian forces.

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