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Video shows Mariupol theatre destroyed in bombing

Could a peace deal be taking shape that will end Russia's invasion of Ukraine?

It might sound strange to say so, given fighting has entered its fourth week. Yet the outline of such a deal is emerging.

In a phone call between Russia's President Vladimir Putin and the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Russian leader set out his demands.

Mr Erdogan's chief adviser, Ibrahiml Kalin, listened in to the call and told our World Affairs editor John Simpson what had been said.

'We knew something terrible would happen'

Rescue workers have been searching the ruins of a theatre bombed by Russia in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

Despite pictures of devastation at the scene, hundreds of civilians who were sheltering there are thought to have survived in a basement that withstood Wednesday's bombing.

"We knew we had to run away because something terrible would happen soon," said Kate, a 38-year-old who left the building with her son just a day before the building was bombed.

Meanwhile, Russian forces have made gains across the south of Ukraine, pushing east and west from Crimea.

Troops are attempting to encircle and cut off the capital, Kyiv, but large areas around the city remain under Ukrainian control, especially in the south.

A grind rather than a lightning campaign

When Western officials gave their assessments of Russia's plans, before the war began three weeks ago, they predicted a lightning campaign with a rapid assault on Kyiv at its heart. With every day since, that assessment has changed, with officials now saying the Russian military is bogged down, making only minimal gains and suffering dreadful casualties.

They no longer exclude the possibility that Ukrainian forces, who they praise as fierce and mobile, will fight the Russians to a standstill. They say Russian morale is extremely low and that the Russian air force, which they expected to dominate the skies, continues to move with extreme caution to avoid Ukrainian air defences.

Of course, Ukraine's military is suffering too, and Western officials are acutely conscious that Vladimir Putin could, as one put it, "double down with greater brutality". But not only is the war not going the way it was planned, they say - even the recent shift to a slower, more grinding form of warfare is stalling as well.

Zelensky demands Germany tear down Russian wall

Image source, Getty Images

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The Ukrainian leader expressed outrage that some German companies were still operating in Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told German MPs that a new type of Berlin Wall was being built, dividing Europe between freedom and oppression.

He thanked Germany for its support during Russia's invasion.

But it was uncomfortable listening for many MPs, as he criticised German energy policy and business interests for contributing to that wall of division.

'Interrogators didn't believe TV protest was my idea'

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WATCH: Marina Ovsyannikova says none of her interrogators thought her TV protest was her idea

Russian TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who interrupted a live Russian news broadcast holding an anti-war sign, said her interrogators could not believe her decision to protest about the war in Ukraine was her own decision.

Ovsyannikova said she needed to break free from being a "cog in the Russian propaganda machine".

UK ministers targeted by Ukraine hoax calls

Image source, Getty Images

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Ben Wallace and Priti Patel are leading members of the cabinet

Two UK ministers have revealed they have been targeted with hoax calls linked to the conflict in Ukraine.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace blamed Russian "dirty tricks" after revealing a man had called him earlier pretending to be Ukraine's prime minister.

He became suspicious and ended the call after the "imposter" posed "several misleading questions", he said.

Home Secretary Priti Patel then tweeted that she had received a similar call earlier this week.

The Ministry of Defence said Mr Wallace had ordered an immediate inquiry into how the prankster was able to call him.

Russian oligarch's super-yacht stuck in Norway

Image source, AFP via Getty Images

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Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, right, is a former KGB agent and has close ties to the Russian president

A super-yacht owned by a Russian oligarch is stuck in a Norwegian port because no-one will sell it fuel.

The Ragnar is owned by Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a former KGB agent who has been linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He is not on the EU sanctions list.

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