Ukraine calls for ‘immediate ceasefire’ and Russian withdrawal in first direct talks during Putin’s ongoing invasion

Kyiv — Ukrainian and Russian delegates sat down on Monday for the first direct negotiations between the two countries since Russia launched its invasion five days earlier. The talks lasted for hours, and although they brought some hope for the end of the war, UkraineThe President and the people of Kiev made it clear that they did not expect much from the discussion. Even as the meeting was taking place, there were reports of increased Russian shelling of cities in eastern Ukraine.

Russia did not clarify its objectives for the talks, but CBS News‘ Haley Ott reported that Ukraine’s main demands were an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of all Russian troops. Russian officials said the meeting ended in the early evening and the respective delegations were returning to their capitals to discuss the negotiations.

Ukraine’s capital Kyiv was still on edge on Monday, but residents were allowed out of their homes and shelters for the first time since Saturday night, when the local government – bracing for an escalation in the siege of the city ​​by Russia – told anyone on the streets would be treated as enemies.

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A Russian armored personnel carrier (APC) burns next to the body of an unidentified soldier during fighting between Russian and Ukrainian armed forces in Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine, February 27, 2022.

SERGEY BOBOK/AFP/Getty


Hours before the start of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations near the border with Belarus, Ukrainian officials said Russia had again bombed major cities overnight. Defense officials said Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, was coming under intense artillery fire after Ukrainian forces recaptured it from Russian troops the day before.

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Explosions reported in Ukraine. (February 24, 2022)

CBS News


Meanwhile, pressure was mounting on Russian leader Vladimir Putin, with the entire United Nations General Assembly rallying for a extraordinary emergency meeting to discuss the crisis a day after Putin said he was putting his nuclear forces on high alert in response to what he called ‘aggressive statements’ from NATO and punishing sanctions from wealthier nations of the world.

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