"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the plan to hold so-called 'referenda' on joining the Russian Federation in the Ukrainian regions partly controlled by the Russian military. Sham referenda in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson regions of Ukraine have no legitimacy and will be a blatant violation of the UN Charter," the statement read.
"The situation in the north of the republic is extremely difficult, there are alarming signals. The enemy has grouped quite serious forces, and it is possible that in the very near future he will try to change the situation and launch a counteroffensive," Pushilin said in a video address on Telegram.
"This exchange of prisoners brokered by Turkey is an important step toward ending the war. Our efforts to bring peace between Russia and Ukraine continue. I would like to thank [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky for the opportunity to exchange prisoners," Erdogan was quoted as saying by Turkish broadcaster A Haber.
"I appeal once again in the presence of the Secretary General and respected ministers: please get the Ukrainian authorities to take an elementary step — publish the names of those people whose corpses were shown in the city of Bucha. I have been asking for this for more than one month, no one hears, no one wants to react. Dear Mr. Secretary General, at least you use your authority, please. I think it will be useful for everyone to deal with this episode," Lavrov.
In April, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that all photographs and video materials published by the Kiev regime, allegedly testifying to the "crimes" of the Russian military in the city of Bucha, Kiev region, were yet another provocation. During the time this settlement was under the control of the Russian armed forces, not a single local resident suffered from any violent actions, the ministry stressed.
"The position of the countries, which are pumping up Ukraine with weapons and military equipment and training military forces of this country, is especially cynical. The goal is obvious and they do not hide it, declaring to prolong the fighting as much as possible, despite casualties and damage, so as to pull apart and weaken Russia," Lavrov told the United Nations Security Council meeting, adding that such policy means direct involvement of the West in the conflict, making them party to it.
"The apotheosis was an interview with Mr. Zelensky on August 5 last year, who advised everyone who feels Russian for the sake of their children, their grandchildren to get out to Russia," Lavrov told the United Nations Security Council meeting, adding that the current decisions on referendums "are response to his [Zelensky’s] desire."
Earlier, a diplomatic source in Ankara told Sputnik that Erdogan would talk to Putin by phone in the coming days.
"Not on schedule yet," Peskov said.