It was has been reported that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced that he will release prisoners in his country with military experience if they are willing to join the fight against Russia.
The President made his remarks during a speech in the country’s capital Kyiv, as a Ukrainian delegation and Russian representatives met at the Belarusian border for peace talks.
He also called on Russian soldiers in Ukraine to lay down their arms, saying: “Save your lives and leave.”
“Abandon your equipment. Get out of here. Don’t believe your commanders. Don’t believe your propagandists. Just save your lives,” he said.
Mr Zelensky claimed that 4,500 Russian soldiers have been killed so far in the conflict.
He also said 16 Ukrainian children have been killed and 45 have been wounded over the past four days.
Russia / Ukraine Poll
Mr Zelensky has urged the European Union to grant his country immediate membership.
“We appeal to the European Union for the immediate accession of Ukraine via a new special procedure,” he said.
“Our goal is to be together with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be on an equal footing. I’m sure it’s fair. I’m sure it’s possible.”
President Zelensky said the next 24 hours will be a “crucial period” for his country but added that he sees little prospect of any meaningful dialogue in negotiations with Russia in Belarus.
Russia’s financial troubles are deepening as the value of the rouble plunged and it was forced to raise its key bank rate to 20 per cent following the imposition of tough sanctions to punish and isolate the country.
The Russian currency sank nearly 26 per cent against the US dollar early on Monday after nations blocked Russian banks from the Swift global payment system, which is integral to the smooth running of international trade.