Indonesian leader offers to mediate Russian-Ukrainian talks

Indonesian President Joko Widodo traveled to Ukraine for a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He is the first Asian leader to visit Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion.

Joko met Zelenskyy in the capital Kyiv on Wednesday.

He told the Ukrainian leader he wanted to help restart the peace talks. On Thursday, he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Joko said peace would be very difficult to achieve, but he stressed the importance of a peaceful resolution. He added that he offered to deliver a message from Zelensky to Putin.

The fighting has left millions of tons of grain locked up in the port and deepened a food crisis far from Ukraine. Joko studies how to free exports.

Indonesia is the current chairman of the Group of 20 nations. Joko extended another invitation to Zelenskyy to attend the group’s November summit in Bali. Zelenskyy said he would decide based on the security situation and who else was there.

Joko ventured outside Kyiv to see for himself what had happened to neighborhoods in the city of Irpin. He wanted to witness the impact of Russian forces on a community that endured heavy fighting at the start of the invasion.

Russian troops have since moved away from the capital region to concentrate in the east. However, they are also directing strikes at military and civilian targets in the south.
Analysts from the Institute for the Study of War in the United States followed an intense battle in the eastern region of Luhansk. They say Ukrainian troops are conducting what they call a “combative withdrawal” – withdrawing to force an end to a Russian offensive.