(Reuters) – March 21 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping discussed Beijing’s proposal for a ceasefire in Ukraine during a first day of talks in Moscow and they were meeting again on Tuesday, the Kremlin said.
* The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Putin and Xi had held a “thorough” exchange of views during their first day of talks and had discussed China’s peace plan for Ukraine, without elaborating.
* Ukraine is waiting to hear if a call will take place between its President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Xi, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in an interview published on Tuesday.
* Xi is the first world leader to meet Putin since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader on Friday over the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia since the start of the war.
* Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrived in Kyiv on Tuesday to voice support and solidarity with Ukraine in talks with Zelenskiy.
* The secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, said on Tuesday that the United States wanted to “defeat Russia” and had become a participant in the conflict in Ukraine.
* Iran is ready to expand its cooperation with Russia in the energy sector, including in the development of “peaceful” nuclear energy, Iranian Economy Minister Ehsan Khandouzi said in an interview with Russia’s RIA state news agency.
* Italy will support Ukraine in resisting Russian attacks regardless of the short-term impact this choice may have on the Italian government’s approval rating, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Tuesday.
* Ukrainian forces have repelled Russian attempts to advance into the centre of the small eastern city of Bakhmut , a top Ukrainian general said on Tuesday. The months-long battle for Bakhmut has become one of the bloodiest of Russia’s nearly 13-month-old war in Ukraine.
* Two Russian strategic bomber planes flew over the Sea of Japan for more than seven hours, the Russian defence ministry said on Tuesday in a statement released as Japan’s prime minister was beginning a visit to Ukraine.
* Ukraine’s defence ministry said that an explosion in Dzhankoi in the north of the Crimean peninsula destroyed Russian cruise missiles intended for use by Russia’s Black Sea fleet.
* Reuters could not immediately verify the battlefield reports.
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(Compiled by Reuters editors)