PICTURED: The Ukrainian delegation leaves a Belarusian military helicopter upon their landing in Gomel region, Belarus, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. The Russian and Ukrainian delegations met for their first talks Monday. The meeting is taking place in Gomel region on the banks of the Pripyat River. PC: Sergei Kholodilin/BelTA Pool Photo via AP. Fair Use.
KYIV, Ukraine. February 28th, 2022. The office of the Ukrainian Presidency have confirmed that delegations from Ukraine and Russia have met on the border with Belarus and are engaging in high level talks.
Zelenskyy’s office said Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a Putin ally, “has taken responsibility for ensuring that all planes, helicopters and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation’s travel, talks and return”.
Ukrainian officials have also claimed that the Russian offensive has slowed after striking military installations in large cities and thousands of hectares of territory north of the capital.
Andrei Fedorov, former deputy Russian foreign minister, has told Al Jazeera the next few days are key in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as President Vladimir Putin’s initial order was to “complete the military operation with a victory by March 2”.
Interfax Ukraine claims that the position of the Ukrainian delegation is a ceasefire, and withdrawal of all Russian troops from the country, including from annexed Crimea and Donbas.
Death tolls are difficult to verify, as all sides are warning of fabricated information, but it is possible that more than 100 Ukrainian civilians have been killed so far.
Weapons, body armor, tactical equipment, aircraft, ammunition, and boatloads of money have poured into Ukrainian coffers and armories over the last few days, from more than a dozen countries.
In response to this, Moscow has built on earlier threats of what is obviously to be construed as nuclear war, by placing her strategic missile forces, and nuclear-capable naval vessels and aircraft, on “high alert”.
“Russian Defense Minister Gen. of the Army Sergei Shoigu has reported to Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces Vladimir Putin that consistent with his orders, shifts on duty at command posts of the Strategic Missile Forces, the Northern and Pacific Fleets and the long-range aviation command have been put on enhanced combat duty,” the ministry said on Monday.