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Putin orders Russia’s nuclear arsenal placed on high alert

Russia’s military has placed its nuclear forces on high alert Sunday, as the invasion of Ukraine continues.

On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the country’s nuclear arsenal to be placed on high alert, a response to what Putin called NATO members’ “aggressive statements” against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

During a meeting with top Russian brass Sunday, Putin ordered chief of the general staff and the Defense Minister to place Russia’s nuclear forces on 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 statement.

The US quickly responded to the move, calling it “totally unacceptable”.

“President Putin is continuing to escalate this war in a manner that is totally unacceptable,” said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Ambassador to the United Nations.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kubleba, said Putin’s order was intended to pressure Ukraine, but vowed his country would not give in.

“As you notice, this order by President Putin came shortly after the announcement was made about the two delegations ready to meet. And we see this announcement this order, as an attempt to raise stakes and to put additional pressure on the Ukrainian delegation.”

“But we will not give into this pressure. We will approach this talks with a very simple approach.”

Putin’s directive to the Russian military comes after Russian soldiers entered Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine.

Heavy fighting has been reported in Kharkiv, as Russian forces are also said to be facing heavy resistance on the outskirts of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.

A senior US official toldnABC News on Saturday that some Russian forces taking part in the invasion of Ukraine are disoriented, realizing the battles against Ukrainians are harder than they thought.

Source: Arutz Sheva

The development was followed by news of the office of Ukraine’s president confirming that a Ukrainian delegation would meet with Russian officials at an ‘unspecified location’ on the Ukraine-Belarus border.

Earlier on Sunday, Russia had announced that a delegation had gone to Belarus and was awaiting talks.

Ukrainian officials at that time had rejected the idea, stating that talks should place at a location other than Belarus, which had allowed a large number of Russian troops on its territory for exercises, the same troops that later invaded Ukraine.