Ukraine, Russia agree to meet as Vladimir Putin puts nuclear forces on high alert

Meeting occurs as fighting between two sides intensifies and Ukrainian president seeks tougher UN action.

Updated: February 27, 2022 - 6:20pm

Ukrainian and Russian officials agreed Sunday to meet near the Belarus border as Vladimir Putin provocatively placed his nuclear forces on high alert.

The meeting was confirmed by Ukraine’s presidential office in a message posted on the social media app Telegram.

The meeting is set to occur as the E.U. vowed to shut down airspace to Russian planes.

As fighting raged near Ukraine’s two largest cities, both sides took provocative action that left the world increasingly on edge.

Putin instructed his defense officials to put Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces in a "special regime of combat duty” and a state of high alert. Protests against Russia’s aggression, meanwhile, spread on Moscow’s streets as thousands were reportedly arrested.

And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded Russia be stripped of its voting power as a member of the UN Security Council and filed a petition for an emergency hearing at the international body’s highest court.

Russian forces continued to bombard the Ukraine capital, Kyiv, and other cities, while the U.S. and its allies stepped up efforts to punish Moscow for its invasion with tough financial penalties.

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