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Russia’s advance on key Ukrainian cities slows as envoys talk

Summary

Russian and Ukrainian delegations met for talks Monday amid high hopes but low expectations for a diplomatic breakthrough, after Moscow unleashed the biggest land war in Europe since the Second World War but met unexpectedly stiff resistance. As determined Ukrainian […]

Russian and Ukrainian delegations met for talks Monday amid high hopes but low expectations for a diplomatic breakthrough, after Moscow unleashed the biggest land war in Europe since the Second World War but met unexpectedly stiff resistance.

As determined Ukrainian forces slowed the Russian advance on key cities and sanctions began to hurt the Russian economy, the Russian military confirmed that its nuclear deterrent forces were on high alert, following President Vladimir Putin’s order. While that raised the unimaginable spectre of nuclear conflict, it was unclear what practical effect it had.

On Monday, a tense calm reigned in Kyiv, where people lined up to buy food and water after two nights trapped inside by curfew. Explosions and gunfire were heard in embattled cities in eastern Ukraine, including the capital and the second-largest city of Kharkiv, and terrified families huddled overnight in shelters, basements or corridors.

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