After five days of Russian aggression, Moscow and Ukraine have begun high-level talks on the Ukraine-Belarus border with the aim of an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces, reports Al Jazeera.
The Ukrainian military claimed that the pace of Russia’s assault has slowed. However, a day earlier Russian President Vladimir Putin put the country’s nuclear forces on high alert.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called the next 24 hours “crucial” for the country. He has also indicated that he sees little prospect of any meaningful dialogue.
He said he was not confident that any progress would be made. “Let’s try, so that no citizen of Ukraine would have any doubt that I, as president, tried to stop the war when there was even a chance,” he stated.
Ukraine’s health ministry stated that 352 Ukrainian civilians have been killed so far, including 14 children. Moreover, tens of thousands of Ukrainians have fled to Romania and other neighbouring countries to seek shelter.
Earlier, Zelensky had asked the European Union (EU) to admit Ukraine as a member state. As a result, multiple European countries are offering military aid to Kyiv.
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states are also stepping up their support for Ukraine by “providing Kyiv with air-defence missiles and anti-tank weapons.”