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Eight Dead As Russia Bombs Kyiv Shopping Centre With Peace Talks To Continue

Stand-offs on the battlefield and at the negotiating table have hardened as Ukraine rejected a Russian ultimatum to surrender the port city of Mariupol and Russia said peace talks had yet to reach any tangible conclusions.

As Russia's invasion of its neighbour nears its one-month mark - an operation launched by Russia to stop what it claimed was genocide against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine - charges of human rights violations - which it denies - are piling up against it.

However, it remains unclear if the savagery on the battlefield is yielding any results.

Russia claims advances but Ukraine says the sides are in a stand-off.

Most information out of the country is impossible to verify, an effort made even harder by Russia's clampdown on information about the invasion.

That clampdown became even tighter on Monday as it labelled the already-banned social media services Facebook and Instagram as "extremist".

However, it allowed WhatsApp, another service run by the same parent company Meta to continue operations.

Twitter has already been shut down in the country, as have many independent media operations.

Referring to the invasion as a "war" can result in punishment in Russia.

Russia had called for Ukrainian troops in Mariupol to lay down arms and leave on Monday morning, and set a 5am deadline for Ukraine to respond.

Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk told Ukrayinska Pravda the response that there would be "no surrender" had been communicated to Russia.

It was unclear what the sides were talking about as they gathered for another hour and a half of talks on Monday, before breaking into working groups.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podoliak said he believes talks with Russia to end the war will last several weeks longer, and said there were signs that the Russian position was becoming "more reasonable" and more realistic.

Russia's demands include for Ukraine to be neutral and demilitarise as well as to recognise the separatist areas in eastern Ukraine as independent territories.

Ukraine has so far showed a willingness to compromise over Russia's demand to stay neutral but wants stronger security guarantees from other countries.

Ukraine has not budged on its territorial integrity.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is insisting on eventually meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, something that the Kremlin has so far refused to consider.

The Kremlin said on Monday that those talks are not on the cards until the negotiators present a detailed plan.

It demanded more "dynamism" from the Ukrainians.

Zelenskiy meanwhile criticised Russian troops in his latest video address early on Monday.

"They continue to look for the imaginary Nazis they apparently plan to protect our people from and still can't find Ukrainians ready to greet them with flowers," he said.

Another reason Russia gave for the invasion was a need to "de-Nazify" Ukraine.

On the battlefield, Russia claimed it had killed 80 people in an attack on a training facility in northwestern Ukraine and the capture of 60 troops outside Kyiv.

Ukraine reported eight dead after a Russian attack on a Kyiv shopping centre.

In the Black Sea port city of Odesa, authorities said Russian forces damaged civilian houses in a strike on Monday.

The city council said no one was killed.

Russia's invasion has prompted a refugee crisis.

The US and many of its allies have responded with massive sanctions but those have the potential to disrupt the global economy.

There are also worries that the war could disrupt the wheat harvest: both Ukraine and Russia are major exporters.

Ukraine's prosecutor general said a Russian shell struck a chemical plant outside Sumy about 3am on Monday, causing a leak in a 50-tonne tank of ammonia that took hours to contain.

Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov called the leak a "planned provocation" by Ukrainian forces to falsely accuse Russia of a chemical attack.