Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday night that peace talks with Russia to end the war in his country were tough and sometimes confrontational, but added "step by step we are moving forward."

Speaking in his daily video address and quoted by Reuters, Zelenskyy also said 100,000 people were living in the besieged city of Mariupol in inhuman conditions, without food, water or medicine.

"We are continuing to work at different levels to encourage Russia to move towards peace ... Ukrainian representatives are participating in talks that are taking place virtually every day. It's very difficult, sometimes confrontational," he said, adding, "But step by step we are moving forward."

Zelenskyy also accused Russian forces attacking Mariupol of thwarting attempts to evacuate civilians from the city.

"As of today, there are about 100,000 people in the city in inhuman conditions, completely blockaded, without food, without water, without medicines, subject to constant shelling, constant bombardment," he said.

Russia and Ukraine have held several rounds of talks in a bid to end the war, but so far have not been successful.

Zelenskyy has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet with him, saying on Monday that that a meeting with his Russian counterpart "in any format" is needed to stop the war in the country.

There have been efforts to mediate between Ukraine and Russia since the war began last month, most of them mediated by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett who, according to reports last week, has been the primary international mediator.

On Sunday night, Zelenskyy said Israel was undertaking many efforts to arrange top-level peace talks between his country and Russia and suggested they might take place in Jerusalem.