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'Save your lives and leave': Ukraine Prez Zelensky appeals to Russian soldiers

 Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin dramatically escalated East-West tensions by ordering Russian nuclear forces put on high alert Sunday.


Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday said he had appealed the European Union for immediate accession under a new special procedure. In a speech, he further asked the Russian soldiers to "save your lives and leave", Hindustan Times reported.

Zelensky’s appeal came amid an ongoing meeting between a Ukrainian delegation and Russian representatives at the Belarusian border for talks.

The Ukraine President's office said its prime objective of talks with Russia is immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian forces.

The comedian-turned-politician further added that Ukraine would release prisoners with military experience if they were willing to join the war against Russia.

Hours ago, military officials said the pace of the Russian offensive against Ukraine had slowed adding the Kremlin's advance on capital city Kyiv was delayed by logistical issues and dogged resistance from the Ukrainian forces.

"Russian occupiers have reduced the pace of the offensive but are still trying to develop success in some areas," the general staff of the armed forces said.

Meanwhile, NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said allies were ramping up support to Ukraine with air defence missiles, anti-tank weapons, as well as humanitarian and financial aid.

However, the United Nations Human Rights office has confirmed at least 376 civilian casualties in Ukraine, including 94 deaths, according to news agency Reuters. The real figure is, however, likely to be far higher.

Damage to civilian infrastructure has left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity or water. Hundreds of homes had been damaged or destroyed, while bridges and roads hit by shelling had left some communities cut off.

The U.N.’s two major bodies — the 193-nation General Assembly and the more powerful 15-member Security Council — are holding separate meetings Monday on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Security Council gave a green light Sunday for the first emergency session of the General Assembly in decades.

It will give all U.N. members an opportunity to speak about the war Monday and vote on a resolution later in the week that U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said would “hold Russia to account for its indefensible actions and for its violations of the U.N. Charter.”

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