(UPDATED) RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin appeared at a huge flag-waving rally at a packed Moscow stadium Friday (Saturday in Manila) and lavished praise on his troops fighting in Ukraine, three weeks into the invasion that has led to heavier-than-expected Russian losses on the battlefield and increasingly authoritarian rule at home.

Meanwhile, the leader of Russia's delegation in diplomatic talks with Ukraine said the sides have narrowed their differences. The Ukrainian side said its position remained unchanged.

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