Moscow asked China for drones, say US officials

Russia and Ukraine were set for a third round of talks Monday as Moscow’s invading forces maintain their devastating assaults across the former Soviet state.

The discussions come as Russian troops edge closer to Kyiv and keep up their relentless bombardment of the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, where nearly 2,200 people have been killed in the onslaught, according to local officials.

Ukrainian and Russian representatives will meet via videoconference Monday, a Ukrainian presidential adviser and a Kremlin spokesman both said.

According to Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamia, the talks will begin at 0820 GMT.

“And our goal is that in this struggle, in this difficult negotiating work, Ukraine will get the necessary result… for peace and for security,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said early Monday, adding that both sides speak every day.

He said the aim was “to do everything to ensure a meeting of presidents. A meeting that I am sure people are waiting for.”