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Zelenskyy warns of World War III if Russia-Ukraine peace talks fail

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Posted at 10:13 AM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 13:13:39-04

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday he's ready to have direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and talked about the seriousness of the situation if the two sides can't agree to end the conflict that began with a Russian invasion about three weeks ago.

"So, I think that we have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating the possibility of talking to Putin. But if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a Third World War," Zelenskyy said during an exclusive interview with CNN.

"I think that without negotiations we cannot end this war," Zelenskyy added. "If there is just 1% chance for us to stop this war, we need to take this chance."

Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities said on Sunday that Russia's military bombed an art school sheltering some 400 people in the embattled port city of Mariupol. Zelenskyy said Russia's unrelenting siege on the city would be remembered for centuries to come and accused Russia of war crimes.

The school bombing marked the second time in less than a week that Russia had attacked a civilian shelter. U.S. Sec. of Defense Lloyd Austin says Russia is resorting to "disgusting attacks on civilians because its invasion has stalled."

Ten million people have now fled their homes in Ukraine since Russia's invasion, the United Nations refugees chief confirmed.

In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskyy reiterated his earlier comments and said Ukraine is interested in peace and that ongoing talks with Russia are "necessary."

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