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The youthful survivors of Russia’s attack of Ukraine: Blood-stained lady grasps young lady’s pink scarf as she lies lethally injured after assault of her home… as doctor who battled to no end to save her says: ‘Show this photograph to Putin’

A woman, who could be the child's mother, reacts as paramedics perform CPR on the girl who was fatally injured during shelling in Mariupol yesterday. She clutches her blood-soaked hand to her mouth while clutching the child's belongings with the other including shoes and a scarf

A woman, who could be the child’s mother, reacts as paramedics perform CPR on the girl who was fatally injured during shelling in Mariupol yesterday. She clutches her blood-soaked hand to her mouth while clutching the child’s belongings with the other including shoes and a scarf

Realistic CONTENT WARNING: Fight to save young lady’s life in Mariupol exposes assaults on Ukrainian individuals
Kid wearing pink unicorn nightgown was lethally harmed in shell impact on her family home in southern port
Photos graph the last minutes of her life as paramedics and specialists fought to restore the anonymous kid
Last picture of her lying dead in clinic the characterizing picture of the human expense to Putin’s conflict in the Ukraine
Agent Mayor of Kyiv shares photograph of a young lady named Polina, who he says was killed while in a vehicle with her loved ones
President Zelensky said in a TV address today that 16 Ukrainian youngsters have been killed and 45 injured
Mail perusers gave £268,000 on the main day of our Ukraine Appeal. Proprietor DMGT additionally gave £500,000
Putin’s despicable conflict pursued on individuals of Ukraine is revealed today in tragic pictures catching the passing of a blameless six-year-old named the young lady in the pink unicorn night robe – one of 16 youngsters presently killed in the contention.

These disturbing pictures diagram the battle to save the anonymous young lady who was lethally harmed when the Russians shelled her Mariupol condo block yesterday – and embodies the horrible cost war is having on regular folks, particularly kids.
During the salvage endeavor, a specialist in blue clinical cleans, siphoning oxygen into the young lady, went to the AP picture taker and said: ‘Show this to Putin: The eyes of this youngster, and crying specialists.’

Ukraine war: The most recent
Ukraine’s MoD says Russia has lost 5,300 fighters, 29 planes, 29 helicopters and 151 tanks
Russia’s MoD has interestingly recognized enduring misfortunes, however wouldn’t say the number of
Russian economy entered freefall as Western assents set up over the course of the end of the week produced results, with ruble sliding to its most minimal level of all time
Moscow’s national bank has dramatically increased the loan fee to 20 percent
Russia orders individuals and organizations to sell 80% of their income in unfamiliar monetary standards, compelling them to purchase the ruble to assist with setting it up
Moscow stock trade won’t open until somewhere around 3pm trying to head off full scale crash
Zelensky has permitted Ukrainian detainees to be liberated on the off chance that they join guard powers to ‘reimburse their obligation’
Ukraine president additionally reported making of ‘global unit’ for unfamiliar volunteers wishing to join military, after ‘thousands’ applied
Spain’s unfamiliar priest called Putin’s organization to place atomic powers on guard ‘another indication of [his] outright madness’
Previous Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says his nation should be available to facilitating atomic weapons
Germany reported a $112million asset to modify the nation’s military, over two times its present self-protection spending plan
EU declared, without precedent for its set of experiences, that it will send assets to Ukraine for weapons – including contender jets

Gripping her blood-covered hand to her mouth and conveying the youngster’s shoes, tuft scarf and bobble cap, one lady, who could be her mom, was shot as endeavors were made to revive the six-year-old toward the rear of a rescue vehicle.

The following picture, too realistic to possibly be distributed, shows the young lady’s dad holding his dead youngster’s hand as the paramedic does mouth to mouth on her little body. He is crying while shrouded in what the future holds blood.

A group of specialists then, at that point, softly conveys the kid, who is as yet wearing her red-stained unicorn nightgown, into the clinic in the waterfront city. Her bedclothes are then removed so a group of seven specialists work on her body, which is as yet being grasped by her supplicating father.

The last picture shows the kid alone on a cart in a vacant ward, having been proclaimed dead in a conflict that had by Sunday guaranteed non military personnel survivors of somewhere around 210, including in excess of twelve youngsters.

It came as Mail perusers gave a remarkable £268,000 on the principal day of our Ukraine Appeal. The paper’s proprietor additionally vowed £500,000 – sending the principal day’s amazing complete taking off past £750,000 to be given to trustworthy foundations that are as of now on the ground giving out hot food, covers and imperative safe house to blast families.

The stomach image of the six-year-old youngster’s pale and dead body could turn into the characterizing pictures of the contention similarly the photograph of three-year-old Syrian kid Alan Kurdi, cleaned up suffocated on a Turkish ocean side 2015, astonished the world and exposed the situation of displaced people escaping the wartorn country.

Her demise, and of different kids, uncovered Putin’s foul falsehood that he isn’t taking up arms against the Ukrainian individuals in the midst of calls for him to be treated as a conflict criminal for his besieging of regular citizens. A few nurseries and kindergartens have additionally been hit.

Today the Deputy Mayor of Kyiv Vladimir Bondarenko shared a photo of a pink-hair

A woman, who could be the child’s mother, reacts as paramedics perform CPR on the girl who was fatally injured during shelling in Mariupol yesterday. She clutches her blood-soaked hand to her mouth while clutching the child’s belongings with the other including shoes and a scarf

The child lies dead and alone in the city's hospital after Russian attacks claimed her life in a picture that has shocked the world. 16 children have died in Ukraine since Thursday, 45 are wounded

The child lies dead and alone in the city’s hospital after Russian attacks claimed her life in a picture that has shocked the world. 16 children have died in Ukraine since Thursday, 45 are wounded

The deputy mayor of Kyiv and BBC has shared this picture of a little girl named Polina, who they say was shot and killed by the Russians while in a car with her parents. She was due to finish primary school this year

The deputy mayor of Kyiv and BBC has shared this picture of a little girl named Polina, who they say was shot and killed by the Russians while in a car with her parents. She was due to finish primary school this year
An injured child is supported by a loved one as he lies on a ventilator after being wounded in a car during Russian attacks that claimed the life of a six-year-old sibling

An injured child is supported by a loved one as he lies on a ventilator after being wounded in a car during Russian attacks that claimed the life of a six-year-old sibling
Young boy in tears as he escapes to border after leaving dad in Kyiv
A Ukrainian father says a tearful goodbye to his son as he boards a train with his mother and sister as men stay behind in Kyiv and other cities to fight the Russians
A Ukrainian father says a tearful goodbye to his son as he boards a train with his mother and sister as men stay behind in Kyiv and other cities to fight the Russians
Gravely ill children, including several diagnosed with cancer, are now receiving treatment on the basement floor of the shelter of Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital

Gravely ill children, including several diagnosed with cancer, are now receiving treatment on the basement floor of the shelter of Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital
A Ukrainian child sobs alone in a railways station as Europe faces a fresh refugee crisis as millions are potentially displaced by war

A Ukrainian child sobs alone in a railways station as Europe faces a fresh refugee crisis as millions are potentially displaced by war
Children cling to the windows of coaches or cry as they are separated from families and taken away from the front line

Children cling to the windows of coaches or cry as they are separated from families and taken away from the front line
Children cling to the windows of coaches or cry as they are separated from families and taken away from the front line
A woman and a child wait for a call to cross the Polish passport control after arriving in a train from Kiev at the Przemysl main train station

A woman and a child wait for a call to cross the Polish passport control after arriving in a train from Kiev at the Przemysl main train station
A member of the Slovak Armed Forces carries a child fleeing from Ukraine who arrived in Slovakia with her family, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine

A member of the Slovak Armed Forces carries a child fleeing from Ukraine who arrived in Slovakia with her family, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine
President Zelensky said in a TV address today that 16 Ukrainian children have been killed and 45 wounded in the four days since the invasion began.

More than 500,000 refugees, mainly women and children, are fleeing Ukraine for the West, with some children separated or even orphaned since the invasion began.  Queues of up to 25 miles are reported at the border with Poland.

Little boy Mark Goncharuk was filmed fleeing with others in a van toward the Ukrainian border, fighting the tears as he spoke about how his father stayed behind to help support the fight against the Russians.

As tears poured down his face he said: ‘We left our Dad in Kyiv. He is helping our heroes, our army, and may even fight himself’. The family were picked up by a team from the Reuters press agency. Mark said: ‘We were walking for three hours and planned to walk for three days. You saved us’.

As 16 Ukrainian children lost their lives since Thursday’s invasion, it also emerged today:

  • Kyiv has survived another night under Russian attack with Putin’s ‘demoralised and exhausted’ troops suffering ‘heavy losses’ trying and failing to break through defences in the city’s outskirts, the city’s army commander has said. But Putin’s forces are encircling the capital city and making gains in the south and east of the country, amid claims they are dropping cluster bombs on civilian areas of Kharkiv;
  • Ukrainian prisoners with combat experience will be released from jail and allowed to serve their debt to society on the front lines of the conflict with Russia, President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced;
  • Sanctions from the West are already biting hard in Russia. Millions of Russians are trying to get cash out of banks as the rouble plunges in value against the dollar and pound. In a bid to stop a potentially disastrous run on the banks. Russia’s central bank – The Bank of Russia – is hiking interest rates from 9.5 per cent to 20 per cent. The finance ministry also ordered exporting companies to sell 80 per cent of their foreign currency revenues on the market to try to support the currency;
  • British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says he has reassured his 12-year-old son there won’t be a nuclear war, accusing Putin of ‘distraction’ tactics because his invasion has gone badly;
  • After two oligarchs criticised the war, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is trying to broker a deal end to the war in Ukraine and has already arrived in Belarus to assist in peace talks, it has been reported. His daughter was on social media also slamming the invasion;

Putin dramatically escalated East-West tensions by ordering Russian nuclear forces put on high alert on Sunday, while Ukraine’s embattled leader agreed to talks with Moscow as Putin’s forces drove deeper into the country.

The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday UKRAINE REFUGEE APPEAL

Readers of Mail Newspapers have always shown immense generosity at times of crisis.

Calling upon that human spirit, we are now launching an appeal to raise money for refugees from Ukraine.

For, surely, no one can fail to be moved by the heartbreaking images and stories of families – mostly women, children, the infirm and elderly – fleeing from Russia’s invading armed forces.

As this tally of misery increases over the coming days and months, these innocent victims of a tyrant will require accommodation, schools and medical support.

All donations to the Mail Ukraine Appeal will be distributed to charities and aid organisations providing such essential services.

In the name of charity and compassion, we urge all our readers to give swiftly and generously.

TO MAKE A DONATION ONLINE

Via bank transfer, please use these details:

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Make your cheque payable to ‘Mail Newspapers – Ukraine Appeal’ and post it to: Mail Newspapers Ukraine Appeal, GFM, 42 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY

The Russian leader is ‘potentially putting in play forces that, if there’s a miscalculation, could make things much, much more dangerous,’ said a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Amid the mounting tensions, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office announced that the two sides would meet at an unspecified location on the Belarusian border, where a Russian delegation was waiting Sunday.

But the Kremlin’s ultimate aims in Ukraine – and what steps might be enough to satisfy Moscow – remained unclear.

The fast-moving developments came as scattered fighting was reported in Kyiv, battles broke out in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, and strategic ports in the country’s south came under assault from Russian forces.

With Russian troops closing in around Kyiv, a city of almost 3million, the mayor of the capital expressed doubt civilians could be evacuated.

Across the country, Ukrainian defenders were putting up stiff resistance that appeared to slow Russia’s advance.

Meanwhile, the top official in the European Union outlined plans by the 27-nation bloc to close its airspace to Russian airlines and fund the purchase of weapons for Ukraine.

‘For the first time ever, the European Union will finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and other equipment to a country that is under attack,’ said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The EU will also ban some pro-Kremlin media outlets, she said.

Also, the 193-member U.N. General Assembly scheduled an emergency session Monday on Russia’s invasion.

Putin, in giving the nuclear alert directive, cited not only statements by NATO members – who have rushed to reinforce the military alliance’s members in Eastern Europe – but the hard-hitting financial sanctions imposed by the West against Russia, including Putin himself. He told his military chiefs to put nuclear forces in a ‘special regime of combat duty.’

‘Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country,’ Putin said in televised comments.

A child collects toys near a clothes donating point as refugees fleeing conflict in Ukraine arrive at the Medyka border crossing in Poland

A child collects toys near a clothes donating point as refugees fleeing conflict in Ukraine arrive at the Medyka border crossing in Poland
A pregnant woman and her children sit on a bench in the improvised bomb shelter in a sports center, which can accommodate up to 2000 people, in Mariupol, Ukraine

A pregnant woman and her children sit on a bench in the improvised bomb shelter in a sports center, which can accommodate up to 2000 people, in Mariupol, Ukraine
A woman carries a child as they board a bus after fleeing from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at the border crossing in Siret, RomaniaA woman carries a child as they board a bus after fleeing from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at the border crossing in Siret, Romania
An Ukrainian child looks through the window of a car stuck in traffic, as her family drives towards the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing between Ukraine and Poland while fleeing the conflict in their country, near the Ukrainian village of Tvirzha, some 20km from the border

An Ukrainian child looks through the window of a car stuck in traffic, as her family drives towards the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing between Ukraine and Poland while fleeing the conflict in their country, near the Ukrainian village of Tvirzha, some 20km from the border
Refugee children open sweets received from volunteers after fleeing the conflict from neighbouring Ukraine at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Siret, Romania

Refugee children open sweets received from volunteers after fleeing the conflict from neighbouring Ukraine at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Siret, Romania

A woman reacts as she embraces a child at a border crossing between Poland and Ukraine, as Polish Border Guards close lanes for vehicles to allow more pedestrian traffic

A woman reacts as she embraces a child at a border crossing between Poland and Ukraine, as Polish Border Guards close lanes for vehicles to allow more pedestrian traffic
A member of the Polish Border Guard holds a child at a border crossing between Poland and Ukrain

A member of the Polish Border Guard holds a child at a border crossing between Poland and Ukrain
A woman clutches her hand to her mouth in a shelter in Mariupol - as Russian troops squeeze strategic ports in the country's south

A woman clutches her hand to her mouth in a shelter in Mariupol – as Russian troops squeeze strategic ports in the country’s south
People take shelter inside a building in Mariupol yesterday as children  run and crawl underground as the Russians batter the city above

People take shelter inside a building in Mariupol yesterday as children  run and crawl underground as the Russians batter the city above
A shattered residential building, which locals said was damaged by recent shelling, in Mariupol on Saturday

A shattered residential building, which locals said was damaged by recent shelling, in Mariupol on Saturday

A woman and a girl walk to a shelter during Russian shelling outside Mariupol after the invasion on Thursday

A woman and a girl walk to a shelter during Russian shelling outside Mariupol after the invasion on Thursday
A child sleeps on a broken chair as Putin's forces try to take the southern port close to Crimea

A child sleeps on a broken chair as Putin’s forces try to take the southern port close to Crimea
Anna Zubenko, 60, who was wounded during a rocket attack, talks with her daughter in a hospital in Mariupol on Friday

Anna Zubenko, 60, who was wounded during a rocket attack, talks with her daughter in a hospital in Mariupol on Friday
A woman holds her sleeping child in a shelter during Russian shelling, in Mariupol on Thursday

A woman holds her sleeping child in a shelter during Russian shelling, in Mariupol on Thursday

Roman Abramovich tries to broker peace deal in Ukraine

Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich applauds, as players celebrate their league title win at the end of the Premier League season in 2017

Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich applauds, as players celebrate their league title win at the end of the Premier League season in 2017

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is trying to broker a deal end to the war in Ukraine and has already arrived in Belarus to assist in peace talks, it has today been reported.

The Russian-Israeli billionaire is believed to have flown into the eastern European country ahead of crunch talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials later today.

The businessman has come under pressure to speak out following the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s forces.

And there have been calls in Parliament for him to face sanctions as a major oligarch ‘with links to the Russian state’.

On Saturday, amid the mounting pressure, Mr Abramovich announced plans to hand over the stewardship of his beloved Chelsea to the club’s charitable trust.

But today, in a surprising move, a spokesman for the club revealed that the businessman has been ‘trying to help’ in brokering a peace deal

‘I can confirm that Roman Abramovich was contacted by the Ukrainian side for support in achieving a peaceful resolution, and that he has been trying to help ever since,’

a Chelsea spokesman said.

‘Considering what is at stake, we would ask for your understanding as to why we have not commented on neither the situation as such nor his involvement.’

According to the Jerusalem Post, Mr Abramovich is already in Belarus, where delegations from Russia and Ukraine are today set to meet on the border town of Gomel.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Kornichuk told the news site he would not comment specifically on Abramovich’s involvement in the talks.

However he added: ‘We appreciate anyone who can help, if he has enough influence.’

U.S. defense officials would not disclose their current nuclear alert level except to say that the military is prepared all times to defend its homeland and allies.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told ABC that Putin is resorting to the pattern he used in the weeks before the invasion, ‘which is to manufacture threats that don’t exist in order to justify further aggression.’

The practical meaning of Putin’s order was not immediately clear. Russia and the United States typically have land- and submarine-based nuclear forces on alert and prepared for combat at all times, but nuclear-capable bombers and other aircraft are not.

If Putin is arming or otherwise raising the nuclear combat readiness of his bombers, or if he is ordering more ballistic missile submarines to sea, then the United States might feel compelled to respond in kind, said Hans Kristensen, a nuclear analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. That would mark a worrisome escalation, he said.

Earlier Sunday, Kyiv was eerily quiet after huge explosions lit up the morning sky and authorities reported blasts at one of the airports. A main boulevard was practically deserted as a strict 39-hour curfew kept people off the streets. Authorities warned that anyone venturing out without a pass would be considered a Russian saboteur.

Terrified residents hunkered down in homes, underground garages and subway stations in anticipation of a full-scale Russian assault. Supplies of food and medicine were running low, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

Authorities have been handing out weapons to anyone willing to defend the city. Ukraine is also releasing prisoners with military experience who want to fight, and training people to make firebombs.

‘Right now, the most important question is to defend our country,’ Klitschko said.

In downtown Kharkiv, 86-year-old Olena Dudnik said she and her husband were nearly thrown from their bed by the pressure blast of a nearby explosion.

‘Every day there are street fights, even downtown,’ with Ukrainian fighters trying to stop Russian tanks, armored vehicles and missile launchers, Dudnik said by phone. She said the lines at drugstores were hours long.

‘We are suffering immensely,’ she said. ‘We don’t have much food in the pantry, and I worry the stores aren’t going to have anything either, if they reopen.’ She added: ‘I just want the shooting to stop, people to stop being killed.’

Pentagon officials said that Russian troops are being slowed by Ukrainian resistance, fuel shortages and other logistical problems, and that Ukraine’s air defense systems, while weakened, are still operating.

But a senior U.S. defense official said that will probably change: ‘We are in day four. The Russians will learn and adapt.’

A man helps a firefighter to extinguish a burning barn following Russian shelling outside outside Mariupol last week

A man helps a firefighter to extinguish a burning barn following Russian shelling outside outside Mariupol last week

Despite the barrage the sane Ukrainian then tried to re install a broken fence at his home

Despite the barrage the sane Ukrainian then tried to re install a broken fence at his home
This man carried a dog away from his shattered property in the besieged city of Mariupol on Thursday

This man carried a dog away from his shattered property in the besieged city of Mariupol on Thursday
Smoke rise from an air defence base in the aftermath of a Russian strike in Mariupol

Smoke rise from an air defence base in the aftermath of a Russian strike in Mariupol
Damaged radar, a vehicle and equipment are seen at a Ukrainian military facility outside Mariupol on Thursday

Damaged radar, a vehicle and equipment are seen at a Ukrainian military facility outside Mariupol on Thursday

Putin hasn’t disclosed his ultimate plans, but Western officials believe he is determined to overthrow Ukraine’s government and replace it with a regime of his own, reviving Moscow’s Cold War-era influence.

The number of casualties from Europe’s largest land conflict since World War II remained unclear amid the fog of war.

Ukraine’s health minister reported Saturday that 198 people, including three children, had been killed and more than 1,000 others wounded. It was not clear whether those figures included both military and civilian casualties.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov gave no figures on Russia’s dead and wounded Sunday but said his country’s losses were ‘many times’ lower than Ukraine’s.

The U.N. refugee agency said Sunday that about 368,000 Ukrainians have arrived in neighboring countries since the invasion started Thursday.

Over the weekend, the U.S. pledged an additional $350 million in military assistance to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons and body armor. Germany said it would send missiles and anti-tank weapons.

The U.S., European Union and Britain also agreed to block selected Russian banks from the SWIFT system, which moves money around thousands of banks and other financial institutions worldwide. They also moved to slap restrictions on Russia’s central bank.

Russia’s economy has taken a pounding since the invasion, with the ruble plunging, the central bank calling for calm to avoid bank runs, and long lines forming at ATMs.

Putin sent forces into Ukraine after massing almost 200,000 troops along the country’s borders. He claims the West has failed to take seriously Russia’s security concerns about NATO, the Western military alliance that Ukraine aspires to join. But he has also expressed scorn about Ukraine’s right to exist as an independent state.

Russia claims its assault on Ukraine is aimed only at military targets, but bridges, schools and residential neighborhoods have been hit.

Kyiv survives another night: ‘Demoralised’ Russian troops suffer ‘heavy losses’ as they FAIL to breach Ukrainian capital’s defences despite city being ‘carpet bombed’ – as negotiators prepare to meet on Belarus border for ‘talks’

Kyiv has survived another night under Russian attack with Putin’s ‘demoralised and exhausted’ troops suffering ‘heavy losses’ trying and failing to break through defences in the city’s outskirts, Ukraine‘s commander has said.

Colonel General Alexander Syrsky, who is in charge of defending the city, said on Monday morning that ‘all attempts’ to breach the city failed and that the situation is currently ‘under control’. ‘We showed that we can protect our home from uninvited guests,’ he added.

Ukraine’s defence ministry put the total number of Russian casualties at 5,300, though that number could not be independently verified. Russia’s defence ministry has for the first time acknowledged suffering losses in the conflict, but has not said how many have died.

Attacks on Kyiv failed despite the city suffering heavy bombardment, with witnesses reporting the sound of ‘carpet-bombing’. At 6am Monday, a curfew that had been in place since 3pm Saturday was lifted – allowing people out to buy food and breathe fresh air – but air raid sirens sounded shortly afterwards.

In the early hours, Russia invited all Ukrainian citizens to leave the city via a ‘safe’ highway – sparking fears that the bombardment could be about to dramatically step up. Moscow employed the same strategy in Syria while fighting alongside Assad’s forces, usually before shelling and bombing cities with heavy casualties.

Though Russian advanced forces have been fighting in Kyiv’s outskirts for several days, the bulk of Putin’s assault force is still located around 20 miles away having been slowed up by determined resistance fighters – with satellite images revealing a huge column of vehicles headed for the city.

Speaking on Monday morning, President Volodymyr Zelensky called for Ukraine to be ‘immediately’ admitted to the EU – after the alliance stepped up to supply hundreds of million of dollars of military aid to Ukraine, a first in the bloc’s history – saying his country had ‘earned’ the right. He also said Russia’s attack had so-far killed 15 children, and wounded dozens more.

U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet says her office has confirmed that 102 civilians, including 7 children, have been killed, and 304 others injured in violence in Ukraine since Thursday, as she cautioned that the tally was likely a vast undercount.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov spoke out against EU plans to arm Ukraine, saying it was a ‘hostile action against Russia’ – including the possibility that MiG or Sukhoi fighter jets in use by member states could be sent to replenish the Ukrainian air force.

The cities of Zhytomyr, Zaporizhzhia, and Chernihiv were also bombed overnight, with air raid sirens sounding in other areas. Fighting continued in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city located in the east near the border with Russia, which has been the site of the heaviest clashes so far.

In the south, Russians reported capturing the port city of Berdiansk with troops and armoured vehicles shown rolling through the centre, and were closing in on the city of Mariupol which was in danger of becoming surrounded – though remained under Ukrainian control as of the early hours.

Even as the battle raged, negotiating teams from both Ukraine and Russia met for talks on the Belarus border aimed at ending the fighting. President Volodymyr Zelensky said ahead of the negotiations that he doesn’t expect them to succeed, but had sent a delegation ‘to show I tried’ to end the war.

Ukraine’s diplomats, sitting down with their Russian counterparts, said their aim for the talks was ceasefire coupled with the withdrawal of all Putin’s forces. Moscow would not be drawn on its aims for the negotiations.

It came amid reports that Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko is poised to throw his own troops into the fighting, which US intelligence said could come as soon as Monday. The move follows on from Chechen forces being thrown into battle, which led to the almost-immediate destruction of a column of armoured vehicles and the death of one of their top generals.

Belarus on Sunday also voted to amend the country’s constitution allowing them to host Russian nuclear weapons, which came after Vladimir Putin’s chilling order to his defence chiefs to put the country’s nuclear weapons on ‘alert’ in response to ‘threats’ from the West.

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A Russian tank is pictured driving through Borodyanka, to the north-west of Kyiv, as Russian forces attempt to encircle the Ukrainian capital from the west

An armed Ukrainian guard is seen on the streets of Kyiv on Monday morning as security is stepped up amid fears of more-frequent and bloodier Russian attacks

An armed Ukrainian guard is seen on the streets of Kyiv on Monday morning as security is stepped up amid fears of more-frequent and bloodier Russian attacks
Security guards in Kyiv search a car amid fears that Russian undercover units will increasingly try to stage sabotage attacks in order to pave the way for a ground offensive

Security guards in Kyiv search a car amid fears that Russian undercover units will increasingly try to stage sabotage attacks in order to pave the way for a ground offensive
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Smoke rises over the city of Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine, where fierce fighting is going on as Russian troops try to take it

Ukraine war, day 5: Russian forces are now attempting to skirt around Kyiv and encircle it from the west. Troops fighting out of Crimea continue to make gains and are likely to surround Mariupol soon, while also reaching the outskirts of a key Ukrainian nuclear plant. Fighting in the east continues to be heavy with no breakthrough for Putin

Ukraine war, day 5: Russian forces are now attempting to skirt around Kyiv and encircle it from the west. Troops fighting out of Crimea continue to make gains and are likely to surround Mariupol soon, while also reaching the outskirts of a key Ukrainian nuclear plant. Fighting in the east continues to be heavy with no breakthrough for Putin
Public Chernihiv reports that a rocket hit a residential building in the center of Chernihiv, northwest of Kyiv. A fire broke out with two lower floors ablaze. The number of injured is currently unknown

An apartment building is pictured on fire in Chernihiv, north of Kyiv, as Russian forces continue to try and reach the Ukrainian capital en masse so they can seize the city
Smoke rises over Kyiv on Monday morning as the city awoke from a night of heavy Russian bombardment to relative calm, though there are fears that Moscow's troops could quickly step up their attacks
Smoke rises over Kyiv on Monday morning as the city awoke from a night of heavy Russian bombardment to relative calm, though there are fears that Moscow’s troops could quickly step up their attacks
Plumes of smoke rise from a building, which was caused by a cruise missile according to local media, in Kyiv, Ukraine
Plumes of smoke rise from a building, which was caused by a cruise missile according to local media, in Kyiv, Ukraine
Smoke billows over the town of Vasylkiv just outside Kyiv after an oil refinery was struck by a Russian missile

Smoke billows over the town of Vasylkiv just outside Kyiv after an oil refinery was struck by a Russian missile
A Ukrainian military vehicle is seen after the curfew was lifted, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kyiv

A Ukrainian military vehicle is seen after the curfew was lifted, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kyiv
Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov arrives to attend the talks between delegations from Ukraine and Russia in Belarus's Gomel region on Monday morning

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov arrives to attend the talks between delegations from Ukraine and Russia in Belarus’s Gomel region on Monday morning

While the exact effect of Putin’s order is unclear, it is likely to mean Russian nuclear warheads being moved close to launch systems such as missiles to allow them to be deployed at shorter notice. The two are usually stored separately to avoid the risk of a weapon accidentally being fired.

It could also mean mobile weapons being dispersed around the country to make them harder to track down and destroy, and bombs being loaded on to aircraft though not armed – again to reduce the time it would take to mount an attack.

Putin’s order, while short of raising nuclear tensions to the levels seen between East and West during the Cold War, will add to fears that the war in Ukraine could rapidly escalate into a more far-reaching and devastating conflict – or that an accident could occur sparking potentially devastating consequences.

The Russian president gave the order to Sergei Shoigu on Sunday – drawing a quizzical look from his usually-stoic defence minister, who is a veteran of every Russian president since the fall of the Soviet Union.

And a senior White House official described it as ‘yet another escalatory and totally unnecessary step’. They said in a statement: ‘At every step of this conflict, Putin has manufactured threats to justify more aggressive actions.

‘He was never under threat from Ukraine or from Nato, which is a defensive alliance that will not fight in Ukraine.

‘The only reason his forces face a threat today is because they invaded a sovereign country, and one without nuclear weapons.’

Max Bergmann, a former State Department official, called Putin’s talk predictable but dangerous sabre-rattling. ‘Things could spiral out of control,’ he warned.

The Russian leader is ‘potentially putting in play forces that, if there’s a miscalculation, could make things much, much more dangerous,’ said a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss rapidly unfolding military operations.

Putin’s directive came as Russian forces encountered strong opposition from Ukraine defenders.

Russian invasion forces seized two small cities in southeastern Ukraine and the area around a nuclear power plant, the Interfax news agency reported on Monday, but ran into stiff resistance elsewhere as Moscow’s diplomatic and economic isolation deepened.

Having launched the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two, President Vladimir Putin put Russia’s nuclear deterrent on high alert on Sunday in the face of a barrage of Western-led reprisals for his war on Ukraine.

Blasts were heard before dawn on Monday in the capital of Kyiv and in the major city of Kharkiv, Ukrainian authorities said. But, Russian ground forces’ attempts to capture major urban centres had been repelled, they added.

Russia’s defence ministry, however, said its forces had taken over the towns of Berdyansk and Enerhodar in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhzhya region as well as the area around the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, Interfax reported. The plant’s operations continued normally, it said.

Ukraine denied that the nuclear plant had fallen into Russian hands, according to the news agency.

As Western governments mustered more support for sanctions against Moscow, diplomatic manoeuvring continued with the Vatican joining efforts to end the conflict by offering to ‘facilitate dialogue’ between Russia and Ukraine.

Ukraine said negotiations with Moscow without preconditions would be held at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. Russian news agency Tass cited an unidentified source as saying the talks would start on Monday morning.

U.S. President Joe Biden will host a call with allies and partners on Monday to coordinate a united response, the White House said.

The United States said Putin was escalating the war with ‘dangerous rhetoric’ about Russia’s nuclear posture, amid signs Russian forces were preparing to besiege major cities in the democratic country of about 44 million people.

British defence minister Ben Wallace said that he does not expect Russian President Vladimir Putin to use nuclear weapons.

As missiles rained down, nearly 400,000 civilians, mainly women and children, have fled into neighbouring countries, a U.N. relief agency said.

A senior U.S. defence official said Russia had fired more than 350 missiles at Ukrainian targets since it launched the invasion last week, some hitting civilian infrastructure.

‘It appears that they are adopting a siege mentality, which any student of military tactics and strategy will tell you, when you adopt siege tactics, it increases the likelihood of collateral damage,’ the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson by telephone on Sunday that the next 24 hours would be crucial for Ukraine, a Downing Street spokesperson said.

So far, the Russian offensive cannot claim any major victories. Russia has not taken any Ukrainian city, does not control Ukraine’s airspace, and its troops remained roughly 19 miles from Kyiv’s city centre for a second day, the official said.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a ‘special operation’ that it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists.

Western-led political, strategic, economic and corporate sanctions were unprecedented in their extent and coordination, and there were further pledges of military support for Ukraine’s badly outgunned armed forces.

The rouble plunged nearly 30% to an all-time low versus the dollar, after Western nations on Saturday unveiled harsh sanctions including blocking some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system.

China’s foreign ministry voiced disapproval of the use of sanctions, saying it opposed unilateral, illegal action. Regarding Putin’s order to put its nuclear deterrent on high alert, it said that all sides should remain calm and avoid escalation. Japan and South Korea said they would join in the action to block some banks from SWIFT. South Korea, a major exporter of semiconductors, said it would also ban exports of strategic items to Russia.

Singapore, a financial and shipping hub, said it intended to impose sanctions and restrictions on Russia, the Straits Times newspaper reported.

Japan said it was also considering imposing sanctions against some individuals in Belarus, a key staging area for the Russian invasion.

A referendum in Belarus on Sunday approved a new constitution ditching the country’s non-nuclear status.

In the Baltic state of Latvia, the parliament gave its blessing to any citizen who wanted to fight in Ukraine against the Russian invaders.

Several European subsidiaries of Sberbank Russia, majority owned by the Russian government, were failing or were likely to fail due to the reputational cost of the war in Ukraine, the European Central Bank said.

Britain said on Monday it was taking further measures against Russia in concert with the United States and European Union, effectively cutting off Moscow’s major financial institutions from Western markets.

Russia’s central bank scrambled to manage the broadening fallout of the sanctions saying it would resume buying gold on the domestic market, launch a repurchase auction with no limits and ease restrictions on banks’ open foreign currency positions.

A huge column of Russian tanks and support vehicles is seen near Ivankiv, around 40 miles north of Kyiv, on Sunday. The column is now thought to be around 20 miles from the city

A huge column of Russian tanks and support vehicles is seen near Ivankiv, around 40 miles north of Kyiv, on Sunday. The column is now thought to be around 20 miles from the city
Russian vehicles are pictured moving in convoy down a highway north of Kyiv at the city of Ivankiv, amid fears that Putin's army is about to significantly step up its assault on the city

Russian vehicles are pictured moving in convoy down a highway north of Kyiv at the city of Ivankiv, amid fears that Putin’s army is about to significantly step up its assault on the city
Russian ground forces in convoy near the city of Ivankiv as they advance towards Kyiv, which has been under bombardment and attack by Moscow's advance forces for days

Russian ground forces in convoy near the city of Ivankiv as they advance towards Kyiv, which has been under bombardment and attack by Moscow’s advance forces for days

Shoigu and Gerasimov - Russia's two most senior military officials - looked stony-faced during a meeting with Putin during which he ordered the country's nuclear forces on to higher alert
Shoigu and Gerasimov – Russia’s two most senior military officials – looked stony-faced during a meeting with Putin during which he ordered the country’s nuclear forces on to higher alert
Satellite images reveal damage to Gostomel Airport, on the ouskirts of Kyiv, after Russian forces attempted to capture it and use it to deploy paratroopers in an apparent attempt to end the war early

Satellite images reveal damage to Gostomel Airport, on the ouskirts of Kyiv, after Russian forces attempted to capture it and use it to deploy paratroopers in an apparent attempt to end the war early
Damage is seen to the airport at Gostomel, Ukraine, after days of heavy fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces

Damage is seen to the airport at Gostomel, Ukraine, after days of heavy fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces
Smoke rises into the air over the runway at Gostomel Airport, near Kyiv, which has been the scene of heavy fighting

Smoke rises into the air over the runway at Gostomel Airport, near Kyiv, which has been the scene of heavy fighting

It also ordered brokers to block attempt by foreigners to sell Russian securities.

That could complicate plans by the sovereign wealth funds of Norway and Australia, which said they planned to wind down their exposure to Russian-listed companies.

Corporate giants also took action, with British oil major BP BP, the biggest foreign investor in Russia, saying it would abandon its stake in state oil company Rosneft at a cost of up to $25 billion.

The European Union on Sunday decided for the first time in its history to supply weapons to a country at war, pledging arms including fighter jets to Ukraine.

Germany, which had already frozen a planned undersea gas pipeline from Russia, said it would increase defence spending massively, casting off decades of reluctance to match its economic power with military clout.

EU Chief Executive Ursula von der Leyen expressed support for Ukraine’s membership in an interview with Euronews, saying ‘they are one of us.’

The EU shut all Russian planes out of its airspace, as did Canada, forcing Russian airline Aeroflot to cancel all flights to European destinations until further notice. The United States and France urged their citizens to consider leaving Russia immediately.

The EU also banned the Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik.

In New York, the U.N. Security Council convened a rare emergency meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, or all the United Nations’ 193 member states, for Monday.

Rolling protests have been held around the world against the invasion, including in Russia, where almost 6,000 people have been detained at anti-war protests since Thursday, the OVD-Info protest monitor said.

Tens of thousands of people across Europe marched in protest, including more than 100,000 in Berlin.

Nearly, 71,000 Ukrainians had crossed into Romania since the invasion began, a Romanian government spokesman said.

Meta Platforms said it had removed a network of about 40 fake accounts, groups and pages across Facebook and Instagram that operated from Russia and Ukraine targeting public figures in Ukraine, for violating its rules against coordinated inauthentic behaviour.

Twitter said it had also suspended more than a dozen accounts and blocked the sharing of several links for violating its rules against platform manipulation and spam.

Moscow has so far failed to win full control of Ukraine’s airspace, despite advances across the country. U.S. officials say they believe the invasion has been more difficult, and slower, than the Kremlin envisioned, though that could change as Moscow adapts.

The conflict – seemingly more quiet overnight Sunday than in past nights – could evolve significantly if Russia gets military help from neighboring Belarus, which is expected to send troops into Ukraine as soon as Monday, according to a senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of current U.S. intelligence assessments who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

The official said that whether Belarus enters the war depends on Ukraine-Russia talks set to happen in coming days.

Amid the mounting pressure, Western nations said they would tighten sanctions and buy and deliver weapons for Ukraine, including Stinger missiles for shooting down helicopters and other aircraft. European countries will also supply fighter jets to Ukraine, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office, meanwhile, announced plans for a meeting with a Russian delegation at an unspecified location on the Belarusian border.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the meeting would take place, nor what the Kremlin was ultimately seeking, either in those potential talks on the border or, more broadly, from its war in Ukraine. Western officials believe Putin wants to overthrow Ukraine’s government and replace it with a regime of his own, reviving Moscow’s Cold War-era influence.

The fast-moving developments came as scattered fighting was reported in Kyiv. Battles also broke out in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, and strategic ports in the country’s south came under assault from Russian forces.

By late Sunday, Russian forces had taken Berdyansk, a Ukrainian city of 100,000 on the Azov Sea coast, according to Oleksiy Arestovich, an adviser to Zelenskyy’s office. Russian troops also made advances toward Kherson, another city in the south of Ukraine, while Mariupol, a port city on the Sea of Azov that is considered a prime Russian target, is ‘hanging on,’ Arestovich said.

With Russian troops closing in around Kyiv, a city of almost 3 million, the mayor of the capital expressed doubt that civilians could be evacuated. Authorities have been handing out weapons to anyone willing to defend the city. Ukraine is also releasing prisoners with military experience who want to fight, and training people to make firebombs.

In Mariupol, where Ukrainians were trying to fend off attack, a medical team at a city hospital desperately tried to revive a 6-year-old girl in unicorn pajamas who was mortally wounded in Russian shelling.

During the rescue attempt, a doctor in blue medical scrubs, pumping oxygen into the girl, looked directly into the Associated Press video camera capturing the scene.

‘Show this to Putin,’ he said angrily. ‘The eyes of this child, and crying doctors.’

Their resuscitation efforts failed, and the girl lay dead on a gurney, her jacket spattered with blood.

Nearly 900 kilometers (560 miles) away, Faina Bystritska was under threat in the city of Chernihiv.

‘I wish I had never lived to see this,’ said Bystritska, an 87-year-old Jewish survivor of World War II. She said sirens blare almost constantly in the city, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) from Kyiv.

Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered to Russian rebel forces in eastern Donbass region are show inside an assembly hall

Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered to Russian rebel forces in eastern Donbass region are show inside an assembly hall
Soldiers with Ukrainian flags on their sleeves are pictured after apparently being captured by Moscow's forces

Soldiers with Ukrainian flags on their sleeves are pictured after apparently being captured by Moscow’s forces

A Russian tank burning in the Ukrainians city of Sumy just days after newly revealed dashcam footage showed a huge column of tanks moving in

A Russian tank burning in the Ukrainians city of Sumy just days after newly revealed dashcam footage showed a huge column of tanks moving in
Russian forces entered Ukraine's second largest city of Kharkiv today after failing in their overnight efforts to seize control of the capital city of Kyiv
Russian forces entered Ukraine’s second largest city of Kharkiv today after failing in their overnight efforts to seize control of the capital city of Kyiv
Ukraine's Ministry of Defence today claimed it has killed more than 4,300 Russian soldiers in the first three days of fighting. Russia has not released an updates on its military losses. Pictured: An Ukrainian Territorial Defence fighter examines a destroyed Russian infantry mobility vehicle GAZ Tigr after the fight in Kharkiv

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence today claimed it has killed more than 4,300 Russian soldiers in the first three days of fighting. Russia has not released an updates on its military losses. Pictured: An Ukrainian Territorial Defence fighter examines a destroyed Russian infantry mobility vehicle GAZ Tigr after the fight in Kharkiv
The mood is not exactly promising for talks but Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has said Kyiv and Moscow will hold peace talks at the northern border with Belarus later on Monday. Pictured, the meeting room where the talks will take place

The mood is not exactly promising for talks but Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said Kyiv and Moscow will hold peace talks at the northern border with Belarus later on Monday. Pictured, the meeting room where the talks will take place
Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Ukraine faces a 'crucial' 24 hours as Russia throws even more ground forces at Kyiv

Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Ukraine faces a ‘crucial’ 24 hours as Russia throws even more ground forces at Kyiv

Chernihiv residents have been told not to switch on any lights ‘so we don’t draw their attention,’ said Bystritska, who has been living in a hallway, away from any windows, so she could better protect herself.

‘The window glass constantly shakes, and there is this constant thundering noise,’ she said.

Meanwhile, the top official in the EU outlined plans by the 27-nation bloc to close its airspace to Russian airlines and buy weapons for Ukraine. The EU will also ban some pro-Kremlin media outlets, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The U.S. also stepped up the flow of weapons to Ukraine, announcing it will send Stinger missiles as part of a package approved by the White House on Friday. Germany likewise plans to send 500 Stingers and other military supplies.

Also, the 193-member U.N. General Assembly scheduled an emergency session Monday on Russia’s invasion.

Putin, in ordering the nuclear alert, cited not only statements by NATO members but the hard-hitting financial sanctions imposed by the West against Russia, including Putin himself.

‘Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country,’ Putin said in televised comments.

U.S. defense officials would not disclose their current nuclear alert level except to say that the military is prepared all times to defend its homeland and allies.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told ABC that Putin is resorting to the pattern he used in the weeks before the invasion, ‘which is to manufacture threats that don’t exist in order to justify further aggression.’

The practical meaning of Putin’s order was not immediately clear. Russia and the United States typically have land- and submarine-based nuclear forces that are on alert and prepared for combat at all times, but nuclear-capable bombers and other aircraft are not.

In Kyiv, terrified residents hunkered down in homes, underground garages and subway stations in anticipation of a full-scale Russian assault. Food and medicine were running low, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

‘Right now, the most important question is to defend our country,’ Klitschko said.

In downtown Kharkiv, 86-year-old Olena Dudnik said she and her husband were nearly thrown from their bed by the pressure blast of a nearby explosion.

‘We are suffering immensely,’ she said by phone. ‘We don’t have much food in the pantry, and I worry the stores aren’t going to have anything either, if they reopen.’ She added: ‘I just want the shooting to stop, people to stop being killed.’

Russia’s failure thus far to win full control of Ukraine’s airspace is a surprising lapse that has given outgunned Ukrainian forces a chance to slow the advance of Russian ground forces. Normally, gaining what the military calls air superiority is one of the first priorities for an invading force.

But even though Russian troops are being slowed by Ukrainian resistance, fuel shortages and other logistical problems, a senior U.S. defense official said that will probably change. ‘We are in day four. The Russians will learn and adapt,’ the official said.

The number of casualties from Europe’s largest land conflict since World War II remained unclear amid the confusion.

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said Sunday that 352 Ukrainian civilians have been killed, including 14 children. It said an additional 1,684 people, including 116 children, have been wounded.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov gave no figures on Russia’s dead and wounded but said Sunday his country’s losses were ‘many times’ lower than Ukraine’s.

Along with military assistance, the U.S., European Union and Britain also agreed to block selected Russian banks from the SWIFT system, which moves money around thousands of banks and other financial institutions worldwide.

Russia’s economy has taken a pounding since the invasion, with the ruble plunging and the central bank calling for calm to avoid bank runs.

Russia, which massed almost 200,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders, claims its assault is aimed only at military targets, but bridges, schools and residential neighborhoods have also been h

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