SHELLING is said to have resumed in Kyiv and Kharkiv as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia enters its fifth day.
Explosions were heard in both cities on Monday morning, according to Ukraine’s National News Agency, Ukrinform.
It comes after the West was accused by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Vladimir Putin, of “pushing Russia into the Third World War”.
Lukashenko asserted that sanctions imposed by countries including Britain and the United States are fueling Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“There is a lot of talk right now against the banking, gas, oil, SWIFT sectors,” he said.
“That’s worse than war. This is pushing Russia into the Third World War.
“We need to be restrained here so we don’t get in trouble. Because nuclear war is the end of everything.”
Lukashenko previously warned that the war in Ukraine would “become a meat grinder” if it continued.
“The conflict in Ukraine is the edge of the wedge. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about. If it continues like this, the worst will happen,” he said.
“He (Zelenskyy) will not be hiding in any American bunker or some other. That is why the war should be ended today.
“I wouldn’t even call it war. This is a conflict. The war will last for a day or two, but there will be a meat grinder for three days.”
It takes place when peace talks will be held between Ukraine and Russia, Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed today – despite Putin putting his nuclear forces on high alert.
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Diplomats from Kyiv and Moscow will meet “without preconditions” near the Prypyat river on the Belarusian border when Putin’s invasion unfolds on Wednesday.
President Zelenskyy’s office said Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko “received responsibility for ensuring that all aircraft, helicopters and missiles stationed on the territory of Belarus remain on the ground during the trip, the talks and the return of the Ukrainian delegation.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the talks were held following a conversation between Zelenskyy and Lukashenko following concerns that Belarus was preparing its troops to join the invasion of Moscow.
In a televised address, he said: “Today, we have almost never had the entry of the Belarusian armed forces into the war. This is why Presiden Zelensky and President Lukashenko speak today.
“We have to defend our northern flank and we have to mitigate the threats that come from there.
“So we agreed to send a delegation to the site on the Ukraine-Belarus border and we go there to listen to what Russia has to say.”
He said diplomats would meet “without preliminary agreement” on the outcome of the talks.
“We went there to say what we think about this war and Russia’s actions,” Kuleba added.
“I think the fact that Russia wants to talk without any preconditions or ultimatums, without any demands on Ukraine, is already a victory for Ukraine.”
Zelenskyy had previously refused to negotiate in Belarus, but according to Kuleba, the Belarusian president told him there would be “no such move” as long as the talks were scheduled to continue.
But Zelenskyy admitted he did not believe in a positive solution from the negotiations, saying: “I do not really believe in the outcome of this meeting, but let them try, so that later on not a job No Ukrainians would suspect that I, as the President, tried to prevent the war.”
Boris Johnson repeated his concerns when he said he doubted the sincerity of the negotiations – calling the invasion a “disaster”.
The Prime Minister said: “President Putin has decided to wage a war of choice against the people of Ukraine. He is causing a lot of pain, violence, suffering for completely innocent people.
“If he wants to stop, if he wants to back out, if he wants to negotiate, that’s very good news. I have my doubts, I have to tell you. I think he can leg it. Fort.
“But if he is then we should go after every avenue, but obviously what needs to happen is that he needs to pull his war machine out of Ukraine.”
It comes later Putin puts his nuclear forces on high alert shortly after warning the West “could face the greatest consequences in history”.
The Russian tyrant is said to be “angry” at his inability to subdue Ukraine and lashed out at NATO for “unfriendly measures” that he said forced him into a cold nuclear gamble.
The move means Putin has ordered the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear warheads to be readied for launch – raising the possibility of a crisis and a miscalculation that could lead to nuclear war. .
In a speech on state TV, Putin claimed that the NATO leaders’ aggressive statements and economic sanctions against Moscow had forced him to take action.
He said that “not only do Western countries take unfriendly measures” such as “illegal sanctions” but “top officials of top NATO countries allow themselves to make aggressive statements regarding concerning our country”.
Putin said he has now ordered his military command to place Russia’s deterrence forces – referring to units that include nuclear weapons – on high alert.
“I order the Defense Minister and the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces to bring the deterrence force of the Russian army into a special mode of combat service,” Putin said.
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson tonight described Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “a disastrous, misguided risk on President Putin’s part”, which “could turn out to be bad” for Russia.
The prime minister told the Church of the Holy Family of Ukraine that he had “no hostility” toward the Russian people but that there was “no plausible reason” for the country’s leader to choose to invade Ukraine.
“I will emphasize that there is no animosity in my heart towards the Russian people, not at all – quite the contrary,” he said.
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“My heart aches for the Russian parents who lost their children in this cruel and horrible war – as it hurts the civilians and the people of Ukraine.
“But when it comes to the fact that the Russian leadership has chosen this violent path, and I stress that it has chosen this path of violence and aggression, there cannot be any viable reason.
“And never in all my research or memory on politics and international affairs have I seen a clear distinction between right and wrong, good and evil, light and darkness. And that’s the real reason why Ukraine is our neighbor today.”
Mr Johnson said the UK would be “very generous” towards Ukrainian refugees arriving in the UK, with a system that allows people to enter the country when they fear persecution, to reunite with their families. or “for other purposes”.
He added that Putin’s placing of Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces on high alert was “a distraction from the reality of what is happening in Ukraine” and praised the Ukrainians for their “perhaps effective resistance”. more effectively, with more resistance, than the Kremlin bargained for.”
Meanwhile, Britain will provide an additional £40 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, the Government has announced.
Downing Street said the funding will help aid agencies respond to a deteriorating humanitarian situation, providing access to basic medical necessities and supplies such as medicines, syringes and bandages. gauze and wound care packs.
The Prime Minister tonight held another phone call with President Zelenskyy, who said that he believes the next 24 hours are a “critical period” for Ukraine.
A No10 spokesman added: “The Prime Minister has said he will do all he can to help ensure defensive aid from the UK and its allies reaches Ukraine.”
Before the invasion of Ukraine, Putin coldly warned Russia “today is one of the most powerful nuclear powers”.
“For anyone who thinks there’s been outside interference – if you do, you’re going to face consequences greater than anything you’ve ever faced in history,” he said.
In response, the US rejected Putin’s statement and its Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, called his move “unacceptable”.
“It means that President Putin is continuing to escalate this war in a way that is completely unacceptable and we must continue to stop his actions in the strongest possible way,” she said.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Putin’s reaction was familiar and “we’ve seen him do it again and again”.
“Never has Russia been threatened by NATO, Russia has been threatened by Ukraine or not,” she said.
“All of them are stereotypes of President Putin and we will fight it.”
On the fourth day of the invasion, heroic Ukrainian troops and civilians are trying to defeat the Russian invaders.
It took place after a day of fighting in which Russian troops failed to capture the capital.
Rain shells falling all over Ukraine after the invasion – when the battle for the capital Kyiv dragged on into the fourth day.
The city was awoken by multiple sirens of air raids after missile strikes turned the sky orange in what Zelenskyy said was a “brutal” night.
And Ukrainian forces are fighting the Russian invaders on the streets of Kharkiv and remain in “full control”local commanders said.
In a statement on Sunday, Ukraine’s armed forces said they were going through a “difficult time” as “occupiers continued shelling in almost all directions”.
“The air force confronts the aggressor both in the sky and on the ground,” the statement from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17787779/peace-talks-ukraine-russia-zelenskyy-putin/ Putin continues shelling Ukraine after West accuses of ‘pushing Russia into World War BA’