Mar 29, 2022

By Jane Brown

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As peace talks between representatives of Ukraine and Russia take place Tuesday in Istanbul, a statement from Ukraine’s government says it is operating three humanitarian corridors to move civilians out of the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, along with two other Russian controlled cities.

The routes all converge in the Ukraine controlled region of Zaporizhzhia.

The Russian military has been operating its own evacuation routes, which Ukrainian authorities allege are a cover for forcibly deporting Ukrainian civilians to Russia.

Meantime, U.S. President Joe Biden says he won’t walk back his comments made in Poland the other day that Russian leader Vladimir Putin needs to be removed from power.

(President Joe Biden speaks about his proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, March 28, 2022, in Washington. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“Just like, you know, bad people shouldn’t continue to do bad things,” Biden explained to reporters on Monday, “But it doesn’t mean we’ll have a fundamental policy to take Putin down in any way.”

The president also insisted he’s not calling for regime change in Moscow, which would have represented a dramatic shift toward direct confrontation with another nuclear-armed country.

“I was expressing the moral outrage that I felt toward this man,” Biden said. “I wasn’t articulating a policy change.”

Biden says he won’t be dissuaded from expressing how he feels about Putin, whom he has also called a butcher and a murderer.

At the same time, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has assured the President of Ukraine that Canada’s support remains steadfast.

According to Trudeau’s Twitter feed, the Canadian PM and Voldomyr Zalenskyy spoke by phone Monday and discussed the ongoing aggression by Russia and the need for further humanitarian, financial and military assistance.

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