Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has warned that the next 24 hours will be “crucial” as peace talks between Ukraine and Russia begin.

President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Day 5 of the invasion that the next 24 hours would be “crucial” to Ukraine’s fate, as Ukrainian and Russian officials converged at the Ukraine-Belarus border for peace talks that began at 6 a.m. on Monday.

According to a statement from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office, Kyiv’s delegation, led by Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, is requesting “an quick ceasefire and the evacuation of forces from Ukraine.”

Air raid sirens blasted across the country on the fifth day of the war, with attacks reported in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Zhytomyr, Zaporizhzhia, and Chernihiv, prompting alarm after Russian President Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on high alert on Sunday.

Russian rocket fire killed eleven people and injured scores more in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, on Monday.

Despite the fact that no Ukrainian soldiers are stationed in the area, Oleg Sinegubov, a senior regional politician, claimed on his Facebook page that Russian forces were bombarding Kharkiv’s residential districts.

“What is happening in Kharkiv right now is a war crime,” Sinegubov stated. He claimed that Russia was employing heavy artillery and that emergency services could not be deployed because to the ongoing shelling.

According to Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, Russian ground forces have gained control of the town of Berdyansk on the Black Sea coast between the Crimean peninsula and the Russian-backed breakaway territory of Donbas.

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