Shafaq News / Russian and Ukrainian officials were set to sit down for talks on Monday even as fighting raged around key cities and Russian President Vladimir Putin confronted the fallout from an invasion that has rallied the West behind his neighbor and against Moscow.
Ukraine said that it would push for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from the country ahead of the talks at the Belarussian border. Its delegation included Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, among other officials.
Kyiv's position has been bolstered by its staunch early resistance in the face of the Kremlin's attack, military assistance from countries across the world and a growing global effort to isolate Russia economically.
Tensions escalated further Sunday when Putin ordered Russia’s nuclear forces to be on high alert, a move that came as his invasion did not appear to be proceeding as he might have hoped.
Crippling sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies sent the ruble plunging to record lows early Monday, while Russia’s Central Bank raised its interest rate to 20 percent from 9.5 percent in an attempt to shore up the plummeting national currency and prevent a run on banks.
Source: NBC News