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Putin orders nuclear deterrence forces on high alert. Russia-Ukraine crisis-Update

A rally participant holds up a sign reading "Give up Putin, you are alone" during a demonstration at the Rathausmarkt against the Russian attack on Ukraine in Hamburg, Germany, Sunday, February 27, 2022 (AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his military to put the country’s nuclear deterrence forces on high alert in response to “aggressive statements” by Nato countries.

The US has condemned the move as "unacceptable". “It means that President Putin is continuing to escalate this war in a manner that is totally unacceptable and we have to continue to stem his actions in the strongest possible way,” Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador in UN, said in an interview with CBS’ Face the Nation.

Russia is facing fierce opposition all over the world for attacking Ukraine. Almost all the countries have come forward to help Ukraine at this time.

The EU is to send weapons to Ukraine and has banned all Russian flights from European airspace. Sweden has announced it will send military equipment and other aid to Ukraine. Prime Minister of Sweden said," it would be the first time Sweden had sent weapons to a country in conflict since the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939.

She said the shipments would include 5,000 single-use anti-tank launchers, 5,000 pieces of body armour, and 5,000 helmets as well as 135,000 ration packs.

Germany pledges a massive hike in defence spending.

Ukrainian troops are in control of Kharkiv, the governor says, after the Russian attack.

Ukraine claims 4,300 Russians have died in the whole invasion - this has not been verified.

A Ukrainian delegation will meet Russians on the Belarus border for talks, Ukraine's president says.

Russia initially said it did not want talks, then said it wanted talks with conditions. Now, after a series of military setbacks that some observers say may have shocked Russian president Vladimir Putin, the conditions have been dropped – which Kuleba, Ukraine's foreign minister said was “already a victory”.

One element of the talks, Kuleba said, is that Belarus agreed it would not use military force against Ukraine “between now and the moment that the talks wrap up”.

Kuleba, responding to questions about nuclear attacks, said that if Ukraine was attacked with nuclear weapons it would be “a catastrophe”, but said it would not break the Ukrainian spirit. He said Putin’s order to put nuclear deterrence on high alert was a strategy to raise the stakes ahead of the talks.

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