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Ukraine demands withdrawal of Russian forces as ceasefire talks underway
Ukraine invasion
Image of an empty street in Kyiv/ credit: UNI

Ukraine demands withdrawal of Russian forces as ceasefire talks underway

| @indiablooms | 28 Feb 2022, 09:08 pm

Kyiv/IBNS: A Ukrainian presidential adviser on Monday called for the retreat of all Russian forces from Ukrainian territory as both countries began ceasefire talks on the Belarusian border, reports said.

Before the talks started, the Kremlin said it would not declare its official position as Ukraine's invasion went into the fifth day.

"I suggest we wait for the talks," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. "I would not declare any negotiating positions."

Ukraine agreed to the talks at a time when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered defence chiefs to put nuclear "deterrence forces" on high alert.

The talks are being held at Ukraine's border with Belarus -- near the Chernobyl exclusion zone following a call between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko.

Venue for the meeting between Russian and Ukrainian delegation for negotiations between two countries, somewhere at Ukraine-Belarus border/UNIVenue for the meeting between Russian and Ukrainian delegation for negotiations between two countries, somewhere at Ukraine-Belarus border/UNI

Ukraine had earlier refused to talk in Belarus, where Russian troops were stationed before the invasion.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency special session of the General Assembly to discuss the Ukraine crisis.

Earlier, Ukraine claimed to have expelled Russian troops from its second city Kharkiv in the east of the country after Russian armoured vehicles got through its defences.

Photo of screen used for air strike in Kharkiv amid Russian invasion of Ukraine on Monday/UNIPhoto of screen used for air strike in Kharkiv amid Russian invasion of Ukraine on Monday/UNI

More than 500,000 people have left Ukraine and arrived in neighboring countries since the start of the Russian military operation, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said on Monday.

European Union members have announced new sanctions and assured Ukraine of more military support in the coming days.

The countries will even send fighter jets to help Ukraine counter the Russian assault, the bloc's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Sunday.

According to the UN, 102 civilians, including seven children, have been killed in Ukraine.

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