Ukraine round-up: What would Zelensky accept for peace and who is Putin’s girlfriend?

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Ukraine round-up: What would Zelensky accept for peace and who is Putin’s girlfriend?

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Putin and Kabaeva at a ceremony in 2001
Image caption,Mr Putin and Ms Kabaeva at a 2001 event

First Vladimir Putin’s two adult daughters were put under sanctions. Could the woman long rumoured to be his girlfriend be next?

The EU has added Alina Kabaeva to a list of proposed individuals to be targeted in the next round of measures in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ms Kabaeva is a former gold medal winning gymnast. She then became a politician in the ruling United Russia party, and currently heads a holding company that has large stakes in almost all major state media outlets.

It is for her role in putting out Kremlin propaganda – as well as what the EU call her close association to Mr Putin – that she could find herself on a black list.

She may be more than a media boss, though. As far back as 2008, Mr Putin denied the pair were in a relationship. More recent reports say they have children together.

Here’s what we know about her

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The agonising operation to evacuate Mariupol civilians

A tank fires in a burst of white-hot air
Image caption,Pro-Russian forces firing from a tank near the Azovstal plant on Thursday

For days, small numbers of civilians have slowly been leaving the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in a city that has seen some of the worst fighting of the conflict.

Friday saw about 50 civilians evacuated, with Ukraine accusing Russia of violating a ceasefire by firing on the area.

There are believed to be up to 200 civilians still sheltering in the tunnels beneath the plant.

One of the Ukrainian fighters there told the BBC: “The situation at the steelworks is now critical; it has been critical for a long time, and now it is getting worse.”

Those leaving are just a handful of the estimated 12 million people displaced by the war. We’ve been looking at where they ended up.

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What peace conditions would Zelensky accept?

President Zelensky
Image caption,”Diplomatic bridges” still remain, Mr Zelensky says

What would it take to end the war?

On Friday, the BBC’s Frank Gardner asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky what the “minimum” concession from Russia would be in return for a peace deal.

“A return of Russian forces to where they were on 23 February,” he said.

That is the day before the invasion began – and so does not include the return of Crimea – a part of Ukraine annexed by Russia in 2014.

“But for this to happen there needs to be diplomatic dialogue,” Mr Zelensky added. “From our side, not all the diplomatic bridges have been burnt.”

Russia, for its part, has described that process as being in a “state of stagnation”.

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Did US intelligence help sink Russian warship?

Image shows Moskva ship
Image caption,The Moskva patrolling the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Syria

The sinking of the Moskva battleship is largely held as one of Ukraine’s most important symbolic victories of the war to date.

Now, US media outlets are reporting that American officials passed intelligence to their Ukrainian counterparts to help identify and locate the ship.

Anonymous US officials are quoted as saying they did not know that Ukraine would target the Moskva after helping determine its location.

Read more about the accusations and de

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